The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to a Kaduna-based businessman, Mahdi Shehu, to retract his allegation that he received N250m from Katsina State Government for the setting up of a new Army Battalion in the state or face a N10bn suit.
The Chief of Army Staff gave the ultimatum on Tuesday through his lawyer, Usuagwu Ogochukwu, in a press conference, asking the man to also tender a written apology to him in three local newspapers in Katsina State within 48 hours.
“I have the instructions of Lt General T. Y. Buratai to demand the immediate retraction of the defamatory publication by Shehu Mahdi by way of an unequivocal apology published in at least three local newspapers in Katsina State within 48 hours.
“Otherwise, I shall commence a libel suit against him and I shall be claiming the sum of N10 billion as damages for defamation and not excluding further criminal prosecution vide law enforcement agencies, including that of the Directorate of Legal Services, Army,” Ogochukwu said.
Buratai described the said allegation as malicious, without fact and fabricated.
Mr. Shehu had alleged during a press conference in Kaduna that the Katsina State Government gave N250m to General Buratai as “welfare package” for the establishment of new army Battalion in the state on November 15, 2017.
Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mustapha Inuwa, had also dismissed the allegation as baseless and calculated attempt to blackmail the state government.