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Ex-minister, Onyeama closes case in alleged libel suit against Onoh

A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has closed his suit against Lilian Onoh, a former Nigerian ambassador to Jamaica and Namibia, over allegations bordering on defamation.

Onyeama closed his case after a cross-examination on Friday before Justice Keziah Ogbonnaya of a Federal Capital Territory High Court at Zuba in Abuja on allegations of financial misappropriation at Nigerian embassies in Jamaica and Namibia.

The ex-minister, who served during the Muhammadu Buhari administration had dragged Onoh to court after the latter accused him of condoning grand corruption at Nigerian foreign missions.

Onyeama alleged that Onoh, who was his sister-in-law, “sponsored” newspaper articles that were critical of him on issues of sleaze while he was the foreign minister.

Onoh had raised an alarm that the sum of $2.8 million was being frittered away out of the $5 million donations by the Red Cross in Nigeria to victims of the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake by Nigerian diplomats in Jamaica.

The Nigerian mission in Jamaica was saddled with the responsibility of applying the $5 million donations to the humanitarian disaster occasioned by the earthquake in the Caribbean country.

In Namibia before her arrival as Nigeria’s High Commissioner, she had stated that about $600,000 was siphoned by officials including shortchanging the Namibian government in VAT remittances.

While being cross-examined by Onoh’s lawyer, Monday Ejeh, on whether he investigated allegations of fraudulent financial transactions raised against Nigerian diplomats by his client, Onyeama said he took action on every complaint received.

“I took action on them by referring such issues to the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and directing that investigation be conducted,” Onyeama said.

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