Ex-Abacha Minister Accused of Stealing $15 Million Loses Defamation Suit To Nuhu Ribadu

Bashir Dalhatu and Nuhu Ribadu
By SaharaReporters, New York

Bashir Dalhatu, a former minister in the Sani Abacha regime, yesterday lost a N2.1 billion libel suit he filed against Nuhu Ribadu, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and DAAR Communications Plc, the parent company of African Independent Television (AIT).

Mr. Dalhatu had filed the case on February 7, 2007 claiming that the former EFCC boss had defamed him by stating that he had stolen public funds. AIT, which was initially sued along with Mr. Ribadu, was subsequently dropped from the case after apologizing to the former minister. However, Mr. Ribadu had stood his ground, choosing to contest the case in court.

In the original suit, Mr. Dalhatu asked the court to make several rulings against Mr. Ribadu, the first defendant. He sought the sum of one billion naira from Mr. Ribadu as general damages for an alleged defamatory speech where the former EFCC boss spoke as follows: “I can name names of lawyers who struggle over 419 cases…Some of these, we have facts and figures. For example Bashir Dalhatu, he is a lawyer, we have a case we are investigating. He took fifteen million dollars ($15 million) from the Government of Nigeria. He said he was going to give to somebody whose ship was destroyed by the Buhari administration for illegal bunkering. They went and got Babangida to approve and they took $15 million. The same guy went to a judge, his own classmate, Justice Auta to give him a court order that we can’t prosecute him. Yes it happened in our country…”

In addition, the plaintiff has originally demanded that the second defendant, DAAR Communications, pay him a billion naira as well as general damages for repeated broadcast of Mr. Ribadu’s words. He then asked the court to award him an additional sum of one hundred million naira against the defendants jointly and severally as aggravated and exemplary damages.

In addition, Mr. Dalhatu sought a court order compelling the defendants to write and publish a written apology to him in several Nigerian newspapers, including The Daily Trust, ThisDay and Daily Leadership along with a broadcast of same on AIT. He had wanted AIT to broadcast its apology for seven consecutive days in all its news broadcast.

In the defamation case filed on his behalf by Yunus Usman, Mr. Dalhatu also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further making or publishing defamatory statements against him.

The plaintiff stated that Mr. Ribadu made the allegedly libelous statement while addressing the Nigerian Bar Association in November 2006. Daar Communications Plc, which broadcast the statement, later settled the case with the plaintiff by apologizing for its broadcast. But Mr. Ribadu insisted that he was prepared to justify every claim he made in the statement.

During trial, the Plaintiff gave evidence for himself and also called four other witnesses. On his part, Mr. Ribadu called an official of the EFCC to testify on his behalf.

In a verdict delivered on January 29, 2013, the trial judge upheld the arguments of qualified privilege and justification canvassed by Mr. Ribadu’s attorney, Femi Falana. The judge held that Mr. Dalhatu was not defamed having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case.

In particular, the court found that the allegation that Mr. Dalhatu duped his client was not challenged because evidence was led to show that even though he collected $15 million from the Federal Government on behalf of his foreign client he only remitted $6.5 million while the remaining sum of $8.5 million was not accounted for.
 

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Dalhatu and Babangida should

Dalhatu and Babangida should be made to refund $15m or forfeit assets of valued same.Thank God for Nuhu Ribadu courage and doggedness. I have always believed that celebrated criminals like Babangida must someday, somehow be exposed. Good case for Lamorde.

Dalhatu and Babangida should

Dalhatu and Babangida should be made to refund $15m or forfeit assets of valued same.Thank God for Nuhu Ribadu courage and doggedness. I have always believed that celebrated criminals like Babangida must someday, somehow be exposed. Good case for Lamorde.

To hell with what you say,you

To hell with what you say,you are racist!

The front man... splitting hairs

Old bash used to brag to my family that he was holding money for abacha.. at the time he claimed pproximately US$70m in several accounts (this was in the 90s). when abacha died he then married his daughter (to facilitate the cash return). technically he did not steal public funds, he simply acted as custodian of them for others and profited from stolen funds. still a criminal and a duplicitous one at that!

ribadu is a fool

What happened was a matter between a lawyer and his client period. He did not steal the money. He used his influence to collect the money from IBB for a breach of contract between the Federal government and his client- the judge shpould admit his mistakes-defamation cases are often hard to prove sha in 9ja-so u can abuse gej and get away with it-not in europe or america

Are some people above condemnation?

How could Babangida approve such a money. That should be a bribe to Dalhatsu in other to attract surpport for the false coup against Buhari. How easy it is to share public fund in Nigeria. This is one of the ways we had lost money to crooks in Nigeria. Babangida and the Judge should also be prosecuted for compromising fraud. It is interesting that nobody made reference or condem these two guys, Babangida and The Judge in all the comments above. Wake up Nigerians.

the judge was wrong-

The Christian Association of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja reacted to the allusion to Jesus Christ by a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, on a social media.The body condemned el-Rufai, saying he was only tring to whip up sentiments around religion for a selfish agenda.CAN urged religious leaders and political associates to advise him on the need to be sober and circumspect, in his comments to avoid setting the country on fire.”The organisation, which also asked President Goodluck Jonathan to check the former minister, added that from his unbridled assault on the Christian faith, el-Rufai was capable of “setting the country on fire.” The ex-minister had, in an attempt to discredit Labaran Maku; Dr. Doyin Okupe; and Dr. Reuben Abati, tweeted, “”@zebbook: If Jesus criticises Jonathan’s govt, Maku/Abati/Okupe will say he slept with Mary Magdalene.”….LWKMD…..”

HE THINKS IT IS A TABOO TO CHALLENGE HIM

He thinks it is a taboo to challenge him for stealing. Since 90% of Nigeria treasury looters are northern muslims and Mohammed messangers,it is blasphemous to mention his name. Hence, he wants Ribadu's for for that.

Up Ribadu

I enjoy the man called Ribadu. Very courageous indeed. Should this man becomes the president of Nigeria, all the rogues will flee. I think we need to collectively give him a chance to clean up the country.

THANK YOU NUHU

I am not surprised ! I supported Ribadu for President in 2011 and will support him again until he makes it to Aso Rock .
The EFCC should hurry up to arraign Mr Dalhatu for the 8.5m Dollars his assets should be confiscated he should be jailed if convicted .
There are millions of people like Dalhatu spread across Nigeria cutting across all the ethnic groups . They are merciless ,ruthless and shameless in stealing public funds and taking same abroad while the youths roam the streets jobless.
Thank you NUHU . Ride on !

@Mike

So who is going to answer my question? You or that rogue called Dalhatu?  And how do u substantiate your claim: "It's people like u that brought this country 2 its level of shamefulness"  In what way and how?  Please think before you write as am trying to see sense in your claim.

It was in the best interest of the nation.

I can not say Buhari is perfect but all that the Federal Military Government did during his stewardship as head of that junta was in the best interest of our nation state,Nigeria,save for detractors and reactionary individuals who were all over the place.May the wrath of Allah be upon them,amin!

It was in the best interest of the nation.

I can not say Buhari is perfect but all that the Federal Military Government did during his stewardship as head of that junta was in the best interest of our nation state,Nigeria,save for detractors and reactionary individuals who were all over the place.May the wrath of Allah be upon them,amin!

AIT coward.

Haba AIT,where are you now?How could you apologies to a criminal.Thank God for courageous people like Ribadu,this criminal would have get his way and claimed he is clean.

EFCC's Lamorde needs Ribadu's courage!

THANKS RIBADU FOR STANDING YOUR GROUND!

This sounds like - 'A tale of a Politician, a corrupt business man and a defective Judge!'

"He (Dalhatu) took fifteen million dollars ($15 million) from the Government of Nigeria. He said he was going to give to somebody whose ship was destroyed by the Buhari administration for illegal bunkering. They went and got Babangida to approve and they took $15 million. The same guy (Dalhatu) went to a judge, his own classmate, Justice Auta to give him a court order that we can’t prosecute him."

Even though "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown", will Lamorde send in his men to go after these slimy characters that have ruined Nigeria and the future of our children? Will GEJ allow him?

$15 million dollars AGAIN? Was it the same money that Andy Uba laid claim to or that Ibori tried to bribe Ribadu with?

Mr Agbelero u shld v waited 4

Mr Agbelero u shld v waited 4 ur question 2 b answered b4 telling d whole world how shamefull ur country is. It's people like u that brought this country 2 its level of shamefulness.

Otile?

Do you know the meaning of Otile? Nyash, bum or idi.

But are the money been

But are the money been recover?

Fearless and forthright

Elect Ribadu into a national leadership role or try him to serve Nigeria as President and see how many past and present public office holders will remain in Nigeria. Ribadu's honour goes before him.

Lamorde, Pls Continue Where Ribadu Stopped!!!

EFCC under Lamorde should take up this case of corruption leveled against Dalhatu and put the dirty thief behind bars. Thank God that Ribadu stood his ground against the dirty bullying and intimidation of Dalhatu and unmasked the thief calling himself a true Nigerian.

When will all the rogues calling themselves true and patriotic Nigerians that have left government and still in government be brought to book and put behind bars. Properties and assets that those rogues have acquired should be confiscated, auctioned and all the money returned to our commonwealth.

Mallam Ribadu will make a GOOD PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA

He is a dogged fighter. That is who we need in Nigeria

Wunderbar!

Meaning that Mr Bashir Dalhatu is a thief and a bold one at that,imagine taking Ribadu to court for calling him a Ole! this man deludes himself into thinking that what he did was not stealing,well Mr Dalhatu let me tell you something,in the new Nigeria that we the youths are planning,people like you belong to jail,your entire generation has redefined corruption to mean virtue,in other jurisdictions, elders are known for their uprightness nature but in our country,it is rather the youths that are disciplined and upright.What a paradox

So Dalhatu is a thief

Now that Mallam Ribadu has stood his ground that Dalhatu is a rogue.  Is this rogue going to be prosecuted?  Will he walk away forever with a whopping $15m?  What a country, what a shame!

Nuhu Ribadu & Otile For President 2015

I am nominating Nuhu Ribadu for president & Otile for Vice President. These are true Nigerians. Vice president elect Otile can now have his Fulani wife as 2nd Lady of Nigeria. To me, this will bring an end to the Boko Haram whahala. Otile having married to Emir Ado Bayero's daughter will bring reconciliation to the Muslim North & Biafara Igbos. I rest my case.

Kudos to justice and the

Kudos to justice and the judiciary on this case. Where a segment of the statement is true, how can somebody who calls himself a lawyer sue for defamation? It has been a funny argument ab initio. How can a rogue remit back all the money? He obviously equated the remittance of $6.5m to the total sum of $15m he collected. At times, these thieves can be funny, thinking we are all stupid. He should be ordered to cough out the balance without delay and bury his head in sands or be sent to the jail.

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