The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) gubernatorial candidate for Cross River State Wilfred Bonse has threatened to sue one Samuel Ogundipe and his online newspaper People’s Gazette for defamation of character.
Bonse on Saturday described the allegation levelled against him was a hatchet job targeted at smearing his reputation, character and image.
The governorship aspirant has therefore demanded an unreserved apology from Ogundipe to be published in three major dailies with immediate effect.
He has also threatened to drag Ogundipe to court if he fails to apologise for the publication of what he referred to as “a shoddy campaign of calumny from a well documented blackmailer.”
Ogundipe had in a report published on February 25, 2023 in two online media platforms accused Bonse of benefitting at least N40 million from a cyber fraud scheme executed by a group of hackers identified as “The Syndicate”.
According to an alleged petition claimed to be seen by Peoples Gazette, the hackers breached the security wall of a financial account and stole N103 million that was shared among several accounts, including that of the NNPP governorship candidate.
Ogundipe also said the petition claimed that the scam was engineered with the intent of bankrupting the account holder, from whom over a hundred million naira was withdrawn and later disbursed to five accounts including Mr Bonses’ who got the largest share.
“I will be filling a formal report against Samuel Ogundipe with the office of the DIG CID. You may recall that this same person has been in trouble with the Economic and financial crimes commission (EFCC) for blackmail against an illustrious son of this nation and Chairman of Air Peace.
“Such persons are obviously a blot on the profession of the 4th estate. I assure you that whatever incentive he has for being the hatchet man in this despicable enterprise he has chosen will will be made distasteful hence forth, to serve as a deterrent to others who may wish to tow this path of dishonour.
“It is for this kind of mischief that the federal government is emphasizing media regulations which the media itself interpret as a gag on information dissemination, but this level of mischief is totally unacceptable and deserves the highest level of reprimand.
“Ogundipe has yet again displayed unprofessionalism and susceptibility lending his pen to merchants of little or no virtue. This is not just about a calculated attempt at embarrassing my person but has also an affront on my hard-earned reputation and integrity,” he said.
He said he was surprised that Ogundipe and the media organisations could publish such stories without confirmation from the right source.
“This is most unpardonable and I request an immediate retraction and apology from Ogundipe because he has caused me not just national but an international embarrassment, which warrants legal actions against him and the online media platforms,” Bonse said.