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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Manufacturer petitions Police commissioner over alleged defamation by Abati, others

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A manufacturing company has petitioned the Commissioner for Police, Federal SARS, Adeniji Adele Lagos over alleged defamation and spreading of false information against its products by Reuben Abati, Chioma Chukwunedu, Nairametrics and the E. A Team.

Bullion Go – Neat Global Manufacturing Company Limited’s petition was made available to journalists on Sunday.

The petition was signed by the Company’s Legal Representatives, Isaac Izunya (Esq) of Izunya Izunya and Co.

In the petition titled ” Petition Against Reuben Abati, Chioma Chukwunedu, Naira metrics and EA Team for the offences contrary to Section 24 (2) (c) and Section 25 (1) of the Cyber Crime Act 2015, as well as Section 375, 376, and 125 of the Criminal Code Act”, Bullion-Go-Neat Global Limited, a registered manufacturing company, accused Chioma Chukwunedu and her associates of utilizing media platforms, specifically E A Team and Nairametrics, to disseminate falsified and untrue information about its product, Coco Samba Milk and Chocolate Flavoured With Herbal Extract.

The company said the alleged false reports involve its product, Coco Samba Milk and Chocolate Flavoured With Herbal Extract, which they claimed was intercepted and seized by German Customs due to its being unsafe for human consumption.

The company argued that the suspects in the defamation acts include Mr. Reuben Abati who actively participated in the generation, diffusion, and circulation of false information on the products on various social media platforms.

It contends that the malicious intent behind the false news is to cause substantial damage to its business reputation, affecting customers confidence, thus leading to economic losses.

According to the petition, the suspects are accused of violating Section 24 (2) (c) and Section 25 (1) of the Cyber Crime Act 2015, as well as Section 375, 376, and 125 of the Criminal Code Act.

The legal representatives emphasize that the alleged actions of the suspects have caused substantial economic and reputation losses to Bullion-Go-Neat Global Limited.

The petitioner urged the Commissioner of Police to investigate and prosecute the suspects.

The petitioner emphasized the need for decisive action to restore lost confidence, goodwill, integrity, and reputation for the affected company.

The petitioner cited relevant legal provisions, including Section 351 of the Criminal Code, which holds individuals publishing defamatory matter, knowing it to be false, liable to imprisonment.

“This highlights the importance of substantiating claims and maintaining journalistic integrity in the face of serious allegations.

“Media platforms are strongly advised to fact-check any adverse information regarding our products prior to publication.

“Alternatively, such information should be forwarded to the Enforcement Department at the NAFDAC office in Apapa, Lagos.

“Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in legal consequences, as per the established rules and ethics of the law and journalism”, Barrister Izunya said in the petition.

He called on the accused media outlets to provide evidence supporting the alleged unsafe nature of the intercepted product to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for verification.

He said he has a strong stance against the spread of false information and emphasizes the importance of accountability in media reporting.

The company’s Chairman, Ambassador Olufemi Ajadi Oguntoyinbo while speaking, said he was surprised and shocked when he read the damaging false reports about their product.

“Nobody served us any letter or notice concerning the alleged interception of our product in Germany. We approached several departments in NAFDAC and we were told there was no such complaints about our product anywhere.

“Suddenly, a blog which claimed it represented NAFDAC throw the information out and it didn’t communicate with us or ask for our opinion on the matter. We believe good journalism requires hearing from all sides before publication. But we were not consulted and our opinion wasn’t sought.

“As a company paying taxes to government and providing employment to Nigerians, we deserve a say in whatever is going on, or that will affect our company.

“If they believe their reports are genuine, they should bring evidence or sample of the said product that they said was not safe for human consumption. No complaints from our consumers in Nigeria about our product”.

ENDS

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