Alleged Libel: Nigerian in diaspora demands published apology, N300m  damages from Abike Dabiri-Erewa

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The Global Coordinator of the Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria,  Dr Frederick Odorige, has given the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, two weeks ultimatum to tender an unreserved apology and retraction which must be published on Twitter and five national daily newspapers with nationwide circulation in Nigeria.

 She has also been requested to pay the sum of N300 million  as compensation for her “ill-advised, false, misleading and malicious publications” concerning him.

On the 15th day of July 2022, Erewa-Dabiri published on “Twitter” where she has at least 760,000 ardent followers, that “The shame is on @FOdorige, and his sponsors. Hope @NIDOEurope1 has noted their hungry member who lives in Hungary. He wanted to exploit Nigerians stranded in Ukraine but we resisted. So @FOdorige is hungry and angry”.

NiDCOM further wrote and published “A Rejoinder” dated 15th August 2022 “While the said Hungary-based Frederick Odorige of one Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria whom Sahara Reporters quoted, is notorious for dark, spurious, ridiculously bizarre allegations and should ordinarily be ignored, we are responding to this because it borders on finances and we owe our esteemed diaspora community a proper clarification of facts”.  

The several publications by Dabiri-Erewa and NiDCOM were in response to a tweet posted by Odorige in respect of a joint budget proposal of N234.6m made between  NiDCOM and the Ministry of Health in 2020. 

“Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, under Abike Dabiri-Erewa, & Min. of Health- Osagie Ehanire, jointly proposed  to attract medical professionals from the diaspora. N234.6m to be spent on trainings & conferences abroad. A NiDCOM without a board! @gcsdn_org shall ask questions”.

 According  to Odorige , “it could be recalled that as widely published, (https://www.vanguardngr.com/2019/10/ministry-wants-n234-6m-to-hire-diaspora-health-professionals/) the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, while defending the Diaspora-related parts of the budget of the ministry before the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs, said that the money was needed to engage Nigerian medical doctors, pharmacists, medical academics and other health sector professionals from the Diaspora. According to Ehanire, the Chairman of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had conceptualized the framework for the Ministry of Health, to engage Nigerian health professionals resident abroad.

Odorige insists that his statement about the fund did not in any way accuse anyone of corruption but was based on the fact that 2020 was a year of global lockdown when movements were globally restricted. “Every Nigerian has the right to know how our commonwealth is being spent in a country that has become highly indebted” He found the responses by Dabiri-Erewa  libelous and affronts against his integrity, respect, and reputation.

 Odorige is also a former Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization, Hungary.

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