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PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo - Politics - Nairaland

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PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Joylove2324(f): 9:04am On Jul 22, 2020
Punch Nigeria Limited has refuted the claim by a firm, SimmonsCooper, that a story, ‘Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam’, in the Saturday PUNCH of July 13, was born out of malice towards Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).

Rather, the organisation said the investigative report was done in line with its commitment to fight all forms of societal ills, including corruption, through the dissemination of news to educate Nigerians.

The newspaper company stressed that the report was not published out of malice towards Osinbajo or anyone else, but in furtherance of its mission as a public trust beholden only to Nigeria and Nigerians.

Punch stated this in a letter by its Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Omolara Ogunleye, in response to a pre-action letter written to it by SimmonsCooper Partners, a law firm in which Osinbajo was a Senior Partner until 2015 when he was elected as Nigeria’s Vice-President.

She said, “It is a fact that by a Return filed with the CAC sometime in November 2011, your firm was registered with the CAC as the Company Secretaries to a company named Ocean Trust Limited, which in turn is alleged to be of interest in the matters complPunch Nigeria Limited has refuted the claim by a firm, SimmonsCooper, that a story, ‘Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam’, in the Saturday PUNCH of July 13, was born out of malice towards Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).

Rather, the organisation said the investigative report was done in line with its commitment to fight all forms of societal ills, including corruption, through the dissemination of news to educate Nigerians.

The newspaper company stressed that the report was not published out of malice towards Osinbajo or anyone else, but in furtherance of its mission as a public trust beholden only to Nigeria and Nigerians.

Punch stated this in a letter by its Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Omolara Ogunleye, in response to a pre-action letter written to it by SimmonsCooper Partners, a law firm in which Osinbajo was a Senior Partner until 2015 when he was elected as Nigeria’s Vice-President.

She said, “It is a fact that by a Return filed with the CAC sometime in November 2011, your firm was registered with the CAC as the Company Secretaries to a company named Ocean Trust Limited, which in turn is alleged to be of interest in the matters complained of against Alpha Beta.


“If, as you now say, your registration with the CAC as Company Secretaries to Ocean Trust Limited was without your knowledge or consent, then, rather than making us the object of your umbrage for simply revealing what is in the CAC records to the public, it will sound more reasonable for your firm to take it up with:

“(i) The CAC that accepted the filing of the Return and kept it in its public record as a fact concerning the entity named Ocean Trust Limited;

“(ii) Messrs Iyiola Gboyega and Akinniyi Kunle who signed as directors of Ocean Trust Limited on the Return to the CAC of your appointment as Secretaries to the Company;

“(iii) Mr Jack Oguche (phone number 0803335150) at whose presentation the return of your appointment was accepted and processed and filed in the CAC records; and

“(iv) Where the said Mr Jack Oguche proves to be a lawyer, then complain against him to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for filing what you claim is a false return affecting your firm to the CAC.”


The newspaper house said since July 13, 2019 when it published the investigative report, which SimmonsCooper complained about, the organisation and its employees had continued to be subjected to “all manner of threats of dire consequences, including threats of a shut-down.”


Punch said while it had no reason to link SimmonsCooper with the threats, it would want it passed on that “it behoves the current occupiers of the highest public offices in the land to remember that the democracy which we, and they especially, have enjoyed since 1999 and which served as the vehicle of their ascendancy to power, was not served to Nigerians on a silver platter. Rather, it resulted from a hard-won battle against the resolute enemies of open society.”

It added, “Our publishing stable, like many other patriots, bears the bruises of this battle to promote an open and lawful society. Our business was targeted and undermined; our publications suffered incessant shut-downs; and our journalists and other staff members were subjected to intimidation, harassment and arrests by those who tried to mortgage the long-term interest of Nigeria and Nigerians for short-term gains. We, nevertheless, soldiered on stoically till Nigerians won freedom from military jackboots and democracy dawned.”


Punch said rather being narrowed down to malice towards Osinbajo or SimmonsCooper or an attempt to malign them, the investigative report should be seen as its support for the fight against corruption, which President Muhammadu Buhari had himself pronounced would kill Nigeria if not killed.

“It is, therefore, the duty of all individuals and corporate patriots, including your good self and your organisation, to support that fight.

“We support that fight by disseminating news to, and educating the public on the ills and perils of all forms of lawlessness, especially corruption. We will do all in our powers to ensure that our voice and the voices of Nigerians are not silenced again,” Punch said.

https://punchng.com/punch-replies-simmonscooper-says-no-malice-towards-osinbajo/

6 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by IamWonderful: 9:07am On Jul 22, 2020
We know the story emanated from inviable Ebonyi

4 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by ghettokid1(m): 9:07am On Jul 22, 2020
IamWonderful:
[s]We know the story emanated from inviable Ebonyi[/s]

19 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Jollylolly(f): 9:11am On Jul 22, 2020
STATEMENT BY SIMMONSCOOPER PARTNERS WITH RESPECT TO THE PUNCH’S DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION OF JULY 13TH 2019

1. SimmonsCooper Partners’ (“the Firm”) attention has been drawn to certain allegations, assertions and other false accusations made against her in the front page of the Punch Newspapers of July 13th 2019, titled “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam” (“the Publication”).
2. For the record, SimmonsCooper Partners refutes all the false allegations imputed against the firm, her members and persons currently or previously associated with the firm. The Publication singled out, not only SimmonsCooper Partners, but also Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), a onetime senior partner and member of the firm, for public opprobrium.
3. The Publication contains untrue and highly defamatory statements towards the firm, some of which contain malicious falsehood. In doing so, defamatory statements are being communicated to millions of people throughout the world, diminishing the firm’s reputation and that of various individuals who have worked at, and continue to work, at SimmonsCooper Partners.
4. SimmonsCooper Partners states that it is not involved, in any shape or form, neither does it have a link with, the alleged tax evasion, money laundering, nor corruption claims alleged against any of the corporations identified in the Publication. For the avoidance of doubt, SimmonsCooper Partners has never retained a physical or correspondent address at “B5 Falomo Shopping Complex, South West Ikoyi, Victoria Island”. This address is copiously portrayed in the published CAC Form 2.1, purportedly, as proof of the linkage between the firm and the subject matter of the allegations, whereas, a cursory inquiry by Punch could have shown that this address is neither the firm’s registered address nor its principal office. The firm categorically states that it has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by Punch Newspapers or at all. As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission.
5. The Publication seems designed to damage the reputation of SimmonsCooper Partners and its past and current members rather than have any fair comment basis. The Publication was a false statement of fact, intentionally published in print and on the Internet, to millions of people within Nigeria and around the world. The malicious intent is demonstrated by the fact that a public search at the Corporate Affairs Commission shows that Ocean Trust Limited has a subsisting company secretary that had been appointed since 2011, which fact was curiously left out by the Punch Newspapers in the Publication. We believe that the Punch Newspaper’s admission to “rush to press” with the Publication, was motivated by malice and calculated to cause harm to the firm and its past and current members.
6. Further, the imputation that offering professional services to a company, by itself, creates an association with alleged wrongdoing, is neither customary nor reasonable. We are certain that Punch Newspapers has external legal advisers who will not be taken to be privy to, or actors in, the defamation alleged herein, or indeed in other matters of liability that may arise in the course of running Punch’s business. Offering professional services, by itself, cannot be characterized as wrongdoing. The insinuation that the firm, its past and current members are somehow associated with alleged tax evasion, corruption, the suppression of investigation and obstruction of justice is not only unjustifiable and unreasonable, but also malicious in intent. Without more, the Publication has definitely held the firm up to scorn, ridicule, disgrace, and contempt in the minds of the readers of the Publication.
7. SimmonsCooper Partners, today, is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Professor Osinbajo continues to epitomise these values even in public service. In line with international best practices, upon his election as Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo resigned his membership of the firm.
8. The firm is aggrieved by the wanton, mischievous and most unprofessional manner in which the Punch Newspapers has published the defamatory statements in the Publication. SimmonsCooper Partners intends to seek redress to the fullest extent available in law and has requested the Punch Newspapers to do all of the following:
• remove from publication in their entirety the defamatory publication and all online threads to prevent further harm to the Firm’s business;
• produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology and declaration to be published in each of the forums which have given or could give reason for our complaint (such apology to be approved by us prior to publication);
• provide details of the number of online posts made, together with website addresses;
• make proposals for the payment to us of damages for the harm caused to our reputation; and
• undertake to actively monitor and delete any newly published defamatory content relating to the Firm.

If the defamatory Publication and threads are not permanently removed and the above undertakings are not complied within the stipulated period, SimmonsCooper Partners reserves the right to undertake further action as appropriate.

SIGNED:

SIMMONSCOOPERPARTNERS

4 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Ayangalu2019(m): 9:16am On Jul 22, 2020
Journalism is becoming a joke in Nigeria, what takes Punch to do torough investigation before attaching the name of the VP into their nonsense? The same way Vanguard apologize to him the other time.

11 Likes 1 Share

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Maxymilliano(m): 9:34am On Jul 22, 2020
“If, as you now say, your registration with the CAC as Company Secretaries to Ocean Trust Limited was without your knowledge or consent, then, rather than making us the object of your umbrage for simply revealing what is in the CAC records to the public, it will sound more reasonable for your firm to take it up with:
“(i) The CAC that accepted the filing of the Return and kept it in its public record as a fact concerning the entity named Ocean Trust Limited;

“(ii) Messrs Iyiola Gboyega and Akinniyi Kunle who signed as directors of Ocean Trust Limited on the Return to the CAC of your appointment as Secretaries to the Company;

“(iii) Mr Jack Oguche (phone number 0803335150) at whose presentation the return of your appointment was accepted and processed and filed in the CAC records; and

“(iv) Where the said Mr Jack Oguche proves to be a lawyer, then complain against him to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee for filing what you claim is a false return affecting your firm to the CAC.”


Well stated and succinctly put by Punch News.

Rather than SimmonsCooper Partners resorting to cheap blackmail and trying to browbeat the news outlet into submission, why not channel your indignation to the appropriate quarters and correct the misinformation contained in the CAC record that linked all the aforementioned companies together ?

22 Likes 2 Shares

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by okefrancis: 9:36am On Jul 22, 2020
Thank God I don't bother myself to buy or read punch because it's full of lies and substandard

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Slawormir: 9:43am On Jul 22, 2020
Damnnnnn niggarrr
Isoright

We won't conclude now but time will tell
But am sure as a real niggarrr that our mere house boy in Aso rock is up to something

Time will tell...if he was actually a star boy or one of those corrupt mere house boy

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Igwe355(f): 9:44am On Jul 22, 2020
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Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by oluwaseunamos33(m): 9:44am On Jul 22, 2020
good. but wait am comin..........
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by BizBayo: 9:44am On Jul 22, 2020
Infact, damnnnn nigarrrr
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by DARLINGTON869(m): 9:44am On Jul 22, 2020
Okaynaa!
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Infrabetatech: 9:45am On Jul 22, 2020
Just contact me
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by dalass(f): 9:46am On Jul 22, 2020
They want to spoil Osinbajos chances of ever vying for the Presidency before it can cross his mind at all grin grin grin

Na wa oh

5 Likes 1 Share

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Timinho23: 9:46am On Jul 22, 2020
The VP is fond of taking everything personal. am beginning to suspect him

4 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Nobody: 9:46am On Jul 22, 2020
Hmmmm

There's no doubt that someone or some group of people are afraid of the rising profile of the amiable vice president.

His diligence, hard work and humility which has endeared him to the hearts of Nigerians has made him a target for the unscrupulous who wish to keep their filthy talons around the neck of Nigerians.

They are scared.

Expect even worse as 2023 crawls by.

10 Likes 2 Shares

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Dpharisee: 9:47am On Jul 22, 2020
Where are crew who always tell us about 16 years of PDP, they have been overwhelmed by the monumental fraud being perpetrated Under this Govt while they wait for Festus Keyamo and national assembly to conclude their bickering for them to apply for the new NPower menial jobs cool
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by CzarChris(m): 9:48am On Jul 22, 2020
Personally I don't believe in too much talk. If what was published by the Punch Newspapers is false, then sue them to the high heavens and clear your name. Are sure you are a Prof. of Law and a SAN at that? Sue them or forever hold your peace.

Thank you.

5 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by freshkpomo(m): 9:49am On Jul 22, 2020
Together we can make Nigeria better


#NYM



God bless Nigeria
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Chukwutobi: 9:49am On Jul 22, 2020
Did I see President Buhari and not General Buhari? Punch is beginning to compromise their standards.

Why is the law firm just responding. The publication is a year old.

1 Like

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Authoreety: 9:49am On Jul 22, 2020
OK. They replied
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by money121(m): 9:51am On Jul 22, 2020
Ok

1 Like

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Fox12(m): 9:52am On Jul 22, 2020
In Every Nonsense there is Sense...

There is an iota of truth in an lie.

Facts don’t lie...if u’re called out for a misdemeanor and u know u’re wrongly picked,u simply present ur facts to refute it.

All dese public office holders need to declare dis Assets again.

1 Like

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by dalass(f): 9:53am On Jul 22, 2020
Timinho23:
The VP is fond of taking everything personal. am beginning to suspect him

Its good to clean yourself of any mud that lowlifes try to smear you with. Else, they'll make it stick and other mudslinging idiots will join in the fray if you take it calmly...

wink

8 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Amspecial: 9:55am On Jul 22, 2020
grin
Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by adenigga(m): 9:57am On Jul 22, 2020
Jollylolly:
STATEMENT BY SIMMONSCOOPER PARTNERS WITH RESPECT TO THE PUNCH’S DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION OF JULY 13TH 2019

1. SimmonsCooper Partners’ (“the Firm”) attention has been drawn to certain allegations, assertions and other false accusations made against her in the front page of the Punch Newspapers of July 13th 2019, titled “Osinbajo’s firm linked to company fingered in alleged N100bn Alpha Beta scam” (“the Publication”).
2. For the record, SimmonsCooper Partners refutes all the false allegations imputed against the firm, her members and persons currently or previously associated with the firm. The Publication singled out, not only SimmonsCooper Partners, but also Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), a onetime senior partner and member of the firm, for public opprobrium.
3. The Publication contains untrue and highly defamatory statements towards the firm, some of which contain malicious falsehood. In doing so, defamatory statements are being communicated to millions of people throughout the world, diminishing the firm’s reputation and that of various individuals who have worked at, and continue to work, at SimmonsCooper Partners.
4. SimmonsCooper Partners states that it is not involved, in any shape or form, neither does it have a link with, the alleged tax evasion, money laundering, nor corruption claims alleged against any of the corporations identified in the Publication. For the avoidance of doubt, SimmonsCooper Partners has never retained a physical or correspondent address at “B5 Falomo Shopping Complex, South West Ikoyi, Victoria Island”. This address is copiously portrayed in the published CAC Form 2.1, purportedly, as proof of the linkage between the firm and the subject matter of the allegations, whereas, a cursory inquiry by Punch could have shown that this address is neither the firm’s registered address nor its principal office. The firm categorically states that it has never been retained by Ocean Trust Limited to offer secretarial services as alleged by Punch Newspapers or at all. As is custom with filings as Company Secretary, there is no acceptance letter by the firm consenting to the purported appointment, or any other filing undertaken by the firm as Company Secretary at the registry of the Corporate Affairs Commission.
5. The Publication seems designed to damage the reputation of SimmonsCooper Partners and its past and current members rather than have any fair comment basis. The Publication was a false statement of fact, intentionally published in print and on the Internet, to millions of people within Nigeria and around the world. The malicious intent is demonstrated by the fact that a public search at the Corporate Affairs Commission shows that Ocean Trust Limited has a subsisting company secretary that had been appointed since 2011, which fact was curiously left out by the Punch Newspapers in the Publication. We believe that the Punch Newspaper’s admission to “rush to press” with the Publication, was motivated by malice and calculated to cause harm to the firm and its past and current members.
6. Further, the imputation that offering professional services to a company, by itself, creates an association with alleged wrongdoing, is neither customary nor reasonable. We are certain that Punch Newspapers has external legal advisers who will not be taken to be privy to, or actors in, the defamation alleged herein, or indeed in other matters of liability that may arise in the course of running Punch’s business. Offering professional services, by itself, cannot be characterized as wrongdoing. The insinuation that the firm, its past and current members are somehow associated with alleged tax evasion, corruption, the suppression of investigation and obstruction of justice is not only unjustifiable and unreasonable, but also malicious in intent. Without more, the Publication has definitely held the firm up to scorn, ridicule, disgrace, and contempt in the minds of the readers of the Publication.
7. SimmonsCooper Partners, today, is a product of the combination of her members’ intellectual capital, industry and integrity garnered for several years. We are proud that Professor Osinbajo continues to epitomise these values even in public service. In line with international best practices, upon his election as Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Osinbajo resigned his membership of the firm.
8. The firm is aggrieved by the wanton, mischievous and most unprofessional manner in which the Punch Newspapers has published the defamatory statements in the Publication. SimmonsCooper Partners intends to seek redress to the fullest extent available in law and has requested the Punch Newspapers to do all of the following:
• remove from publication in their entirety the defamatory publication and all online threads to prevent further harm to the Firm’s business;
• produce an apology and a declaration that the allegations referred to are false and defamatory and cause such apology and declaration to be published in each of the forums which have given or could give reason for our complaint (such apology to be approved by us prior to publication);
• provide details of the number of online posts made, together with website addresses;
• make proposals for the payment to us of damages for the harm caused to our reputation; and
• undertake to actively monitor and delete any newly published defamatory content relating to the Firm.

If the defamatory Publication and threads are not permanently removed and the above undertakings are not complied within the stipulated period, SimmonsCooper Partners reserves the right to undertake further action as appropriate.

SIGNED:

SIMMONSCOOPERPARTNERS

What are you waiting for?

Spare us all this audio threat.

2 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by DeLaRue: 10:02am On Jul 22, 2020
Being a Company Secretary does not mean you're involved in the day to day running of the company or that you have an interest in the company.

It simply means the lawfirm is their company lawyer.

2 Likes

Re: PUNCH Replies Simmonscooper, Says No Malice Towards Osinbajo by Masterkernel1: 10:02am On Jul 22, 2020
okefrancis:
Thank God I don't bother myself to buy or read punch because it's full of lies and substandard


The didn't notice your absence.

3 Likes

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