A former aide-de-camp to ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, has refuted reports which alleged that he was arrested by the officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and reports which quoted him as saying that if he was forced to reveal what transpired under the last administration, Nigeria will boil.
A statement by his Attorney, Chief Ogwu Onoja, SAN, which described the reports as highly sensational and false, noted that Adegbe never made such controversial statement against his former boss during his interrogation at the EFCC office.
According to the statement, there was never a time Col. Adegbe threatened to burn down Nigeria.
Onoja, therefore, demanded an unreserved apology from the management of the Sun Publishing Limited for dragging his hard-earned name to the mud.
The statement read, “We have read with shock and disbelief the lead story in your newspaper, dated Friday 12th February, 2016, titled: “If I open up, Nigeria will burn. Detained Jonathan’s ex-ADC warns, as EFCC declares Tompolo wanted”.
“We have examined the full story contained on page 7 of the paper and the different statements credited to him and compared them with provable facts. This comparison shows without any doubt whatsoever that, among others, the following of your statements about what transpired are false:
a. You stated that Col. Adegbe was credited to have said: “If I open up, Nigeria will burn.”
b. You stated that: “the economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) picked up Adegbe on Wednesday in Lagos where he was interrogated before he was flown to Abuja yesterday.”
c. You stated that: “It was gathered that ongoing interrogation of the former ADC by operatives of the EFCC could open up a new can of worms, which could surpasss what is now known as Dasukigate”
d. You stated that: “Col. Adegbe who was arrested in Lagos a few days ago, was said to be attending a senior officers course outside the former capital city, but on a visit, when he was picked up for interrogation.”
“To set the record straight, all the issues raised by your paper above only exist in the figment of your imagination. This attitude of yours is highly unprofessional and capable of heating up the polity and has indeed brought the name of our client to great disrepute. We are constrained to set the records straight by informing you that our client was not arrested as reported by your newspaper.
“To set the records straight, Col Adegbe was not arrested by EFCC as claimed by your newspaper. It is known fact that Col Adegbe has been in the UK for studies having been released by the Nigerian Army to do so.
“The EFCC wrote the military authority to invite our client for questioning with respect to an ongoing investigation to clarify certain allegations made against him. The military authority invited him back to Nigeria, which he willingly came in and reported to the office of the provost marshal in Abuja on Wednesday 10th February 2016. Due to his late arrival and the inability of the Army to complete their documentation, he was asked to report to the Garrison Mess in Mogadishu Cantonment in line with military tradition till the next day. Upon completion of the necessary paper work, he was escorted to the EFCC where he wrote his statement and was interrogated.
“We are also familiar with the statement he wrote at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and are also acquainted with answers he gave to questions, so we are at a complete loss as to how your newspaper arrived at that highly sensational and false story. The lawyers and representative of the Nigerian Army were present throughout the interrogation. There was never a time Col. Adegbe threatened to burn down Nigeria.
“He has demanded a retraction of the said story with the same banner headline and an apology from the Sun Newspaper within 12 hours to avoid legal action.
“In view of your false and malicious statements, we demand a retraction of the false story with the same banner headline and an apology for your fictitious and highly embarrassing report. The retraction and apology must carry and be accorded the same prominence not less than 7 editions of your publication. We also demand that the retraction be syndicated to all your prints and the online media links in the same way and manner you spread the false story.
“We demand this to be effected within 12 hours while we advise our client on the legal implication of this malicious publication”.