Nigeria: Pantami Threatens Legal Action Over Allegation of Boko Haram Link

Mr Pantami is asking the media organisation to apologise to him and publish it in five newspapers.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has written to the publishers of Daily Independent newspapers demanding public apology and retraction of a story alleging that he is on a United States watch list over alleged link to Boko Haram.

The minister, through the legal firm of Karina Tunyan, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, demanded that the newspaper recant the story it published in its Sunday edition within 24 hours or face legal consequences.

In the story, which has since gone viral, the newspaper quoted an unnamed US government report which allegedly speak to the minister's sympathy to Boko Haram and preaching of the sect's doctrines.

In the letter signed by Michael Jonathan Numa, and addressed to the managing director/editor-in-chief of the newspaper, the lawyers said Mr Pantami's reputation as a scholar and notable public figure was badly damaged by the publication.

The minister is requesting that the media organisation write a letter of apology to him and publish it in five newspapers.

"That you convene a press conference to publicly announce your retraction while dissociating our client from the false claims you made which are seriously injurious to our client's personality," the lawyers said.

They said failure to comply with the demand within the stipulated time would make them to commence a process of instituting defamation suit against the paper and all persons involved.

The demand letter was copied to the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS) and that of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

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