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Oil Bunkering Allegations: Amotoi Demands Apology, Retraction From Vanguard, Others

Oil Bunkering Allegations: Amotoi Demands Apology, Retraction From Vanguard, Others

Amotoi Global Services Limited, an indigenous oil servicing firm, has through its lawyers written to Vanguard Newspaper, SaharaReporters and Nairametrics respectively to retract and apologise for “a libellous publication” against their clients or face legal action.

According to Amotoi, the three news publishing outlets in their separate publications had portrayed the energy company of being connected with illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.

In the three letters of demand, Anthony Enyindah, Esq. of Lighthouse Law Partnership reiterated that Amotoi is a company of international repute that renders engineering, procurement and construction services in the oil and gas industry.

The legal practitioner hinted that Amotoi’s CEO, Barr. Amunaboye Clement, is also a senior lawyer, businessman, community leader and a recipient of several awards and recognition resulting from his positive contributions to society.

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Amunaboye’s benevolence and acts of philanthropy have benefitted not just indigent families but also institutions of learning and professional associations, Enyindah added.

The lawyer maintained that his “clients either individually or jointly do not and have not participated in any illegal, criminal, unwholesome, or untoward activity of any kind and are properly integrated into lawful society.”

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He stated that the publications are not only false and malicious but are a calculated and deliberate attempt by its sponsors to tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Amotoi as well as to damage the personal image of Barr. Amunaboye.

Enyindah believes that one of the sinister aims of the sponsors is to sever the relationship between Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company and Amotoi.

One of the letters partly read: “Your reference to our clients’ business relationship with Aiteo Exploration and Production Limited (Aiteo) reveals perhaps one of the sinister aims of the sponsor(s) of your publication; to wit causing severance of the relationship between Aiteo and our clients.

“It is widely known that our clients have distinguished themselves by providing a variety of legitimate services to Aiteo since that company acquired OML 29. A fact that has aroused jealousy and resentment in some individuals.

“Contrary to your false and malicious publication, our clients are invested in the safety, security, and success of Aiteo’s operations.

“Evidence abounds (including documentary evidence) of our clients’ collaboration with Aiteo, the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and other security agencies to frustrate and curb the theft of crude oil from Aiteo’s facilities.

“Furthermore, reiterating our clients’ commitment to protecting national assets and the environment; suspected oil thieves arrested through the collaborative effort of our clients, Aiteo, and security operatives are being prosecuted by the authorities.”

The lawyer further chided the three media outlets for not hearing from his clients before proceeding to publish the false and weighty” publications.

“Had your outfit bothered to make any journalistic effort, you would perhaps have considered or even realized that the allegations that you have happily published constitute part of a series of desperate and unwarranted threats and gang up by desperate, Machiavellian, dark, and morally bankrupt competitors of our clients.

“You may perhaps have even realized that the company Aiteo has no facilities in or around Elemuama where your alleged bunkering camp purportedly existed,” the lawyer stated.

While alleging that the media houses allowed their platforms to be used by unscrupulous individuals to cause defamation, Enyindah maintained that their publications have caused damage to the corporate and personal reputations of his clients.

He therefore gave the three news firms two weeks to retract and apologise for the publications or face legal action.

“Consequently, and based on the instruction of our clients, we demand that you retract the false, unverified, and malicious publication without any delay and give the retraction the same prominence as that given to the offending publication; not later than July 14, 2024.

“You write and deliver to our office a letter of unreserved apology to our clients for the damaging publication.

“Take notice that should you neglect or refuse to heed the demands of this letter within the period stated herein, we shall be constrained to execute our clients’ instructions to the fullest, including instituting legal action to seek appropriate remedies against you without further recourse to you,” Enyindah stated.

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