Enemies of Nigeria behind Magu's ordeal, ex- EFCC boss' classmates tell Buhari
Ibrahim Magu

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA–An Abuja High Court sitting at Maitama, on Tuesday, awarded N100million damages in favour of popular Abuja cleric, Prophet Emmanuel Omale who was falsely accused of helping the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, to launder funds totalling about N500million.

Omale, who is the founder of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Abuja, had through his team of lawyers led by Chief Goddy Uche, SAN, approached the court to challenge a report he said was published against him by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

While denying the allegation that he aided the erstwhile EFCC Chairman to ferry funds abroad, Omale, prayed the court to award N1billion against the news outlet to serve as aggravated and general damages.

While delivering judgement in the matter on Tuesday, Justice Yusuf Halilu held that there was merit in the cleric’s defamation suit.

Consequently, he awarded N50m to him as general damages and another N50m as aggravated damages.

The court further ordered the government news outlet to publish a public apology to the Prophet, in three national newspapers with online visibility.

It will be recalled that First City Monument Bank, FCMB, had in its evidence before the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) that probed the former EFCC Chairman, claimed that N573m was credited into Omale’s church account.

However, the bank, later clarified that the payment into the church’s account was a result of system error.

Aggrieved by the earlier claim of the bank, which was published, the prophet, alongside his wife, Deborah and the church, approached the court for redress.

He equally filed a separate suit against NAN.

In an earlier judgement that was delivered on October 4, the court, ordered the bank to pay N540.5m to the Claimants as damages.

It held that the bank breached its “duty of care to the Claimants”.

The court held that evidence before it showed that the bank had in a report it submitted to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, admitted that there was error in entries in the account of the Church.

It noted that in the said report, the bank, claimed that the purported N573m was wrongly reflected as credit entry in the account of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, by its reporting system which it recently upgraded.

It held that through the bank accepted its mistake, it had however brought incalculable damage to the reputation of the Claimants both within and outside the country, thereby depleting their church’s membership.

Justice Halilu added that the Claimants provided sufficient evidence to establish a case of negligence against the bank.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.