For the second time in 17 months, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi, has sued the publisher and Editor-in-Chief,Shipping World magazine, Elder Asu Beks, at an Abuja Magistrates’ Court, Life Camp, Abuja, for allegedly publishing a defamatory report against him.
Dikko said the magazine published a five-page article in its July edition with the headline, “Dikko’s Customs stinks” with a rider: “Presidency shops for his replacement”.
In the report, the magazine allegedly accused the Customs chief of bribery in a bid to retain his position, despite running “a corruption-ridden NCS” and “squandering” N25 billion from a Customs dedicated account that had been dormant since 2012.
Dikko said the publication also alleged that the anti-graft agency had compiled a long list of “sins” to send the Customs chief to prison.
Dikko said the publication claimed that out of desperation to clean himself, he allegedly paid huge bribes to curry favour from the Presidency and the National Assembly.
Angered by the allegations in the article, Dikko, through his lawyer, Amobi Nzelu, filed a suit pursuant to Section 143(d) and (e) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The Customs chief prayed the Senior Magistrates’ Court to issue a criminal summon against Beks, the magazine’s Managing Editor Sylvanus Ekpo and Editor Chukwunonso Udeh for alleged defamation and misrepresentation of facts.
He claimed that the article jointly authored and published by the accused persons concerning him were false, malicious, baseless, as well as highly libelous and a calculated attempt to destroy his hard earned reputation and professional career without justification.
Dikko had last year dragged Beks to court over a similar allegations of defamation.
In a N1 billion suit filed at the High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Dikko alleged that the defendant had on a breakfast show on Silverbird Television broadcast on August 22, 2012, accused him of financing the dreaded Boko Haram sect. The case has not been concluded.