OrderPaperToday – The United Kingdom-based anti-corruption Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Corner House, has threatened legal action in response to a widely publicized complaint sent on behalf of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) to Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police.
In a letter to Kanu G. Agabi & Associates, the law firm that submitted the complaint on behalf of Adoke, Corner House categorically denies forging the email tendered in court proceedings, stating that “the statements made in the complaint about us are entirely untrue and highly defamatory.
“Corner House has been accused by your client of criminal acts, namely forgery and falsification of evidence – accusations that are highly damaging to the reputation of Corner House as an internationally respected anti-corruption group”.
Adoke’s complaint alleges that “various acts of forgery” by “the parties responsible for the petition, investigations and commencement of the criminal trial at the court of Milan against the individuals/entities connected with the OPL 245 settlement agreement”.
Specifically the compliant referenced an email that was accepted as evidence by the Milan Court in the recent trial of Shell, Eni and 11 other defendants.
Although the complaint did not mention names, Corner House’s role as one of the parties responsible for the petition that led to the investigations and prosecution in Milan is widely known to the public in Nigeria and internationally.
Corner House has been honoured for its work by Liberty, Justice and The Law Society, which awarded the group their highly coveted Human Rights Award. The group’s legal action against the UK government in 2008 for halting an investigation into alleged bribery by BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia is widely credited with having forced the UK to introduce stronger anti-bribery legislation.
Corner House states that it expects Adoke “to issue a full retraction of the defamatory statements made against Corner House at the earliest possible date and If no retraction has been made within 10 days, the group states:
“We reserve our right to bring proceedings in the UK or any other jurisdiction where damage has been caused. We are currently assessing the extent of the damage to our reputation caused by internet publication of the Complaint in the UK. Given the wide UK readership of the Nigerian newspapers which reported the Complaint online, we believe that many readers in the UK will have read the defamations”.
Recall that Corner House in coalition with several global anti-corruption groups had earlier called on Nigeria to commence trial of Eni, Shell and other complicit Nigerian officials implicated in the OPL 245 Oil well saga