The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami has revealed his readiness to slam a lawsuit against a national daily for publishing a report that he has been placed on a watch-list by the United States (U.S.).
Pantami made this disclosure on Wednesday, April 14, via a statement by his lawyer, Michael Jonathan Numa, Senior Partner of the Karina Tunyan (SAN) and Company, in Abuja.
Despite the fact that the news outlet has retracted the report via its Twitter handle, Pantami’s lawyers said, “such grave and unverified allegations cannot be wished away by a bland and emotionless tweet which does not show contriteness for the immeasurable and malignant damage done to our client’s pristine reputation.”
He said he has no option other than to “pursue every legal means to guard his hard-earned reputation as indicated in his letter of 12th April 2021.
The lawyer said: “We continue to act as Counsel to Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy hereinafter referred to as our client and on whose express instruction we issue this press release.
“Our client’s attention has been drawn to a purported ‘Retraction’ of the unfounded front-page headline publication on the Sunday Edition of the Daily Independent Newspaper dated 11th day of April 2021, with the title ‘Disquiet as America Places Nigerian Minister on Watch List.’
“The newspaper article had contained grave defamatory statements impugning the hard-earned reputation of our client.
“The Daily Independent Newspaper has now purportedly retracted the grossly libelous statements and allegations via its Twitter handle (@IndependentNGR) on the 14th day of April 2021, claiming that they have realised that the publication ‘has not been verified to be true’.
“The said retraction having not met our client’s demand leaves us with no option than to pursue every legal means to guard the hard-earned reputation of our client as earlier indicated in our letter of 12th April 2021.”
Pantami who has been an Islamic scholar for many years. had a contest of ideas and doctrines with Yusuf and other scholars.
In the Youtube videos cited and currently making the rounds on social media, Pantami can be heard interrogating Yusuf’s fundamentalist and extremist views and showing them up as deeply flawed.
Far from being a friendly chit-chat with the Boko Haram founder, Pantami in the videos referenced, tells Yusuf that his views on western education are problematic and erroneous.