We will not succumb to intimidation and blackmail, Neptune Prime replies Abuja Grand Khadi

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Ibrahim Rufa'i Imam
Ibrahim Rufa'i Imam

Neptune Prime Network Limited, publishers of Neptune Prime online newspaper has vowed never to be blackmailed, cowed or succumb to intimidation in its effort to tell the truth and expose corruption no matter who is involved.

Recall that Neptune Prime exclusively reported a story on Freedom of Information Request written by a legal practitioner to the office of the Grand Khadi of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory seeking information over allegations of salary fraud in the organization.

READ ALSO: Neptune Prime petitions EFCC, ICPC over allegations of salary fraud in Abuja Sharia Court of Appeal

Instead of addressing the issues raised, the Sharia Court of Appeal is treading an ignoble path of issuing threats and intimidation.

The office of the Grand Khadi instructed a legal practitioner who wrote a letter to Neptune Prime making obnoxious demands and issued threats without providing the information sought for in the FOI requests by the lawyers.

However, in a reply to the Grand Khadi, dated July 7, 2020, Neptune Prime said: “Our organization is a reputable media outfit and we do not succumb to cheap blackmail and intimidation.”

See full details of the letter below:

3rd July, 2020

The Principal Partner,
I.G. Haruna & CO.,
Suite Ext. D4, 3rd Floor,
FAB Mall, off Gimbiya Street,
Area 11, Garki,
Abuja

Dear Sir,

RE: Lawyers to drag Abuja Grant Khadi to court over alleged salary fraud

DEMAND FOR RETRACTION AND APOLOGY.

The above subject matter refers

We are in receipt of your letter dated the 30th June, 2020 demanding for retraction and apology from us over a (story we made out of a) request made to your Client by a Solicitor – Uche Amulu Esq. of Greys Acquisitions LP, pursuant to Sections 1, 3 and 4 the Freedom of Information (FOI) ACT.

We wish to bring to your attention that our publication in reference was only concerned with the demand action of the Solicitor by his letter dated the 22nd June, 2020.

You will recall that in the said letter in reference pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, the following demands with specific details were made to wit: That you (your client) furnish the Solicitors the details as to why about 500 (Five Hundred) members of the Sharia Court of Appeal FCT have not paid salaries since April, 2020 till date (to the time of publication).

That documents that empowered the closure of Salaried Accounts of members of Staff domiciled in FCMB (and transferred) to Zenith Bank Plc during this period of non payment.

Whether the Order of Court emanating from a Magistrate Court sitting in Minna Niger State, lacking jurisdiction, was relied upon or steps (and or what steps were) taken to challenge same in a Competent Court (of law) in the FCT.

The Sharia Court of Appeal as an institution of the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria established pursuant to the Sharia Court of Appeal Act, Chapter 550, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja) 1990 must operate within the very limits allowed by law by making available the requested information in accordance with the law.

It is instructive to inform you that in accordance with (the) established media practice and principle that facts must be properly checked and balanced before publication as contained in your letter in reference, we did verify our information from the Solicitor – Uche Amulu Esq. of Greys Acquisitions LP, who wrote the letter and he even availed us a copy showing the letter was received by the Hon Grand Khadi’s Chambers on the 22nd June, 2020. A copy is herewith attached for ease of reference.
Our organization is a reputable media outfit and we do not succumb to cheap blackmail and intimidation.

Furthermore, the circumstances surrounding the applicability of the Order of a Magistrate Court sitting in Minna, Niger State, in the Federal Capital Territory that was relied upon for the closure of Salaried Accounts of members of Staff (of) your Client’s Agency domiciled in FCMB (and transferred?) to Zenith Bank Plc is a mystery that is yet to be unraveled.

Equally, the desperation of your Client for the retraction of the said story has left us with
no choice other than to also make our application under the relevant laws and same is herewith attached. We are of the view that we did no wrong that warrant any apology or retraction as what was published was as contained in the Solicitors Letter.

Finally, please note that by a copy of this response, we shall also be complaining to the
relevant anti-corruption agencies including but not limited to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission to unravel.
We have also instructed our Solicitors on further action should you refuse to furnish us with the requested documents as contained in the attached letter.

It is our hope that our attached response would be brought to the attention of your Client.

Yours Faithfully,
For: Neptune Network Nigeria
Limited.

CC;
The Grand Kadi,
Sharia Court of Appeal,
SCA Headquarters, Gudu, Abuja

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