Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former Nigerian minister, has demanded a public apology from Japheth Omojuwa, a social media influencer, for allegedly impersonating her while registering his PR firm, Alpha Reach Limited with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Ezekwesili made this stance known on Friday through a letter signed by her lawyer, Marshar Abubakar, on behalf of Falana and Falana Chambers.
The letter partly read that: “Sometime in 2012, a company called Alpha Reach Limited was incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja. The company has as its object general construction (Building and Civil Engineering) and has listed as its Directors: Japheth Omojuwa, Damilola Ogunleye, El-Rufai and Ezekwesili Obiageli”.
In 2017, the company was said to have metamorphosed into a digital media company and Ezekwesili was replaced with Indimi Ahmed Mohammed, the son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Whilst denying any involvement in the affairs of the company from the onset, Ezekwesili’s lawyers said: “It is our brief that our client promptly contacted you but you informed her that the Alpha Reach Company Limited is your company and that she is not involved in it at all. Our client also requested for the incorporation documents from you and you promised to make the same available to her within a week but you never did.
“That you never informed our client of an intention to seek her consent or participation in incorporating any company whatsoever and for any purpose whatsoever.”
On this account, the former minister demanded an apology as well as financial statements of the firm between 2012 and 2017, the years her name was in use.
“On account of the foregoing, we have the firm mandate and instruction of our client to demand the following: That you upon receipt of this correspondence cause to be issued a public statement/apology exonerating our client from the incorporation process and activities of the Alpha Reach Limited,” the statement said.
“That you give a detailed account (to our client via correspondence) the circumstances leading to the incorporation of Alpha Reach Limited and attach the Certified True Copies of all the incorporation documents submitted at the Corporate Affairs Commission in the course of registering the said company.
“That the correspondence referred to above must include details of all the financial dealings of the company from 2012 to 2017.”
“It is our hope that you accede to the foregoing request forthwith otherwise we shall be left with no choice but to employ all legal avenue (s) to seek redress.”
In a statement signed on behalf of Alpha Reach, Omojuwa, however, denied that Ezekwesili is a member of the company’s board.
He also maintained that none of this staff was paid to campaign for anyone.
This reaction negates the report of Buzzfeednews, a foreign media that named Omojuwa among some Nigerian influencers who got paid to campaign for the freedom of Alex Saab, a Columbian businessman under trial.
When FIJ also contacted Duke Ukaga, CAC’s Director of Public Affairs, he refused to comment on the allegation of Alpha Reach’s fraudulent registration.
“I can’t comment on this,”he said. “I will advise you to come to the commission’s headquarters in Abuja to make enquiries.
Is it Convenient for Falana to Defend Both Alex Saab and Ezekwesili in Court?
While Ezekwesili had consulted Falana and Falana Chambers, a law firm owned by Femi Falana (SAN), the same senior advocate of Nigeria is the counsel to Alex Saab.
In January, Falana had asked the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court to stop the extradition of Saab, who was arrested in Cape Verde in June 2020 on account of suspected money laundering.
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