Nigeria: NITDA Seeks Withdrawal of Publication Alleging N1 Billion Funding From NCC

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has sought the discontinuation of a publication alleging that the Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) is funding the agency to the tune of N1 billion.

The publication, an article published by the online news platform, Sahara Reporters, alleged that a directive was given by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, to the NCC management to release the sum of N1billion to NITDA for Digital Learning Scheme project.

NITDA through its legal representatives, Arthur Nylander Barristers and Solicitors, described the publication as defamatory and an attempt to smear the image of the agency and that of Mr Pantami.

The letter, signed by Leslie Nylander and Olumide Phillips, noted that NITDA never received any such amount from the NCC for the alleged project.

The law firm, therefore, advised SaharaReporters to withdraw the publication and tender apologies for the damage caused the agency.

"We ask the members of the public to disregard the allegations in the publications and utilize the freedom of information, Act, laws of Nigeria, 2011, to unravel the truth on any transaction or records of our client that can be legally made public".

"Notice is hereby given to Sahara Reporters, its agents, its privies, assigns and any other person(s) acting on their behalf, all print and online media outlets in Nigeria and any other person (s) (domestic and foreign), to cease and desist forthwith from further publishing, circulating or otherwise propagating the contents of the malicious, otherwise, our clients shall be constrained to ventilate its grievances against such reportage, exploring all legal strategies at its disposal, in seeking a halt to any damaging coverage and/or publication," the letter read.

"In light of the foregoing, our client demands the withdrawal of the libelous publication and an unequivocal apology from either Sahara Reporters or any its agents, privies, assigns, and any other person(s) acting on their behalf, to be published in three (3) widely read national dailies and their online platform within Seven (7) days, failing which our client shall not hesitate to seek legal redress without further recourse to the perpetrators of the publication."

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