Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
The management of BUA Group, has brought a defamation case against James Onyejekwe, managing director of Kainos Exploration & Production concerning the oil mining licence (OML) 110, in which a recent publication made allegations of corruption against the chairman of the Nigerian conglomerate, Abdul Samad Rabiu.
The company described the publication purporting to come from Ibrahim Mai Deribe and Cavendish Petroleum with respect to BUA’s OML 110, as spurious and malicious.
BUA said it has been duly contacted by Cavendish Petroleum, as well as the alleged writer of the statement, Ibrahim Mai Deribe; and both parties have told BUA on the record that neither Cavendish, the Mai Deribe family nor any of its executives put out such a malicious statement.
“We find the statement false, defamatory, malicious and libelous – published with the clear intent to impugn the integrity and reputation of BUA Group and its Chairman, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu,” the conglomerate said.
It said, BUA has conducted its own independent investigation and the findings revealed that the source of the fraudulent news is Onyejekwe, the MD of Kainos Exploration and Production– who it said, is neither an executive nor spokesperson on behalf of Cavendish Petroleum.
“We have therefore instructed our legal team to immediately commence criminal defamation proceedings against the person of Mr. James Onyejekwe who is the said originator of the malicious letter fraudulently attributed to Cavendish Petroleum against our person, with damages,” the BUA management said in a statement.
The conglomerate said, it is also commencing proceedings against the online blog, which first published the alleged “unsubstantiated malicious news, and thus, failed in their duty of journalistic care to check, confirm and clarify the source of such a weighty allegation against a responsible corporate citizen, particularly as the platform made itself a willing vehicle for articles of disinformation capable of bringing the company into disrepute before its clients, staff and continent of operation.”
The management of BUA said it deems legal actions necessary, in order to protect the name and reputation of BUA Group.
According to management, they see no reason why Onyejekwe of Kainos Exploration and Production would single out BUA in a supposed business dispute which had no link to the BUA Group in its entirety.
It said, BUA takes its reputation seriously, and will continue to do everything to protect it from anyone and any entity who obstructs its mandate to conduct business in a proper, legal and socially-responsible manner.
“BUA will therefore, utilize its legal and human resources to resist every campaign of defamation and distraction”, the company management said.
It informed all its stakeholders, discerning media practitioners and the unsuspecting public to henceforth disregard any further attempt to perpetuate the malicious, baseless allegations. It expressed its appreciation of the Nigerian press, and will not hesitate to seek full legal redress through the courts to check those who do a great disservice to its crucial role in Nigeria.