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Alleged Bribery: US Court Orders Buhari’s Appointee To Produce Vital Documents Within 20 Days

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The Court, in the suit, numbered No.5:21-cv-2214, ordered the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, to produce in court, within 20 days, documents relating to the dealings during the build-up to the launch of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Bonny Train 7.

A United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ruled on the case of alleged bribery against the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Kesiyi Simbi Wabote in the build-up to the launch of the $4 billion Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7.

The Court, in the suit, numbered No.5:21-cv-2214, ordered the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, to produce in court, within 20 days, documents relating to the dealings during the build-up to the launch of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Bonny Train 7.

Wabote, who is the Plaintiff had sued Mr. Ude Jackson (Defendant), an international award-winning journalist famed for investigative journalism in a US court for defamation of character.

He claimed that Ude through his online publication, Pointblanknews.com, defamed his character vide a story in which it was inferred that he financially compromised his position and abused the privileges of his office as Executive Secretary of the NCDMB in the build-up to the launch of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7.

However, the case had also taken a twist as a lawyer for Mr. Ude from Amadi Law Office at 204 Blossom Street Extension, Suite A. Lynn MA 01901, Barr. Benneth O. Amadi, in entering appearance for the journalist convinced the court to subpoena President Muhammadu Buhari as Minister of Petroleum Resources and also subpoena Wabote to produce vital documents expected to point out alleged cases of bribery, non-disclosure of hidden foreign accounts and money laundering activities purportedly engaged in by the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote.

Defendant, Jackson, through his counsel had last week asked the court to subpoena Wabote to produce vital documents relating to the case in accordance with the instructions and definitions contained herein and in accordance with Rules 34 and 45 of the United States Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A request the Court granted and issued an order that such documents be produced within 20 days.

The order of the US Court, which was handed on the 21st day of December 2021, upon consideration of the parties’ letter briefs, see ECF Nos. 69, 70, and 71, and after a telephone conference held on this day, 1 during which both parties presented arguments. Attorney Michael D. Cilento, Esq. participated on behalf of Plaintiff and attorneys Benneth Onyema Amadi, Esq. and Obinna I. Abara, Esq. participated on behalf of Defendant.

In the order of the Court, made available to newsmen via electronic mail, “IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Within twenty days from this Order, Plaintiff shall provide full and complete responses to Defendant’s interrogatories 1–5, which are attached as Exhibit F to Defendant’s letter and dated November 30, 2021, see ECF No. 69-1, and all objections to same are overruled.

“That Within twenty days from this Order, Plaintiff shall provide Defendant with all of the requested documents to Defendant’s Second Request for Production of Documents numbered 1–9, which are attached as Exhibit G to Defendant’s letter and dated November 30, 2021, see ECF No. 69–12, and all objections thereto are overruled.

“Within twenty days from this Order, Plaintiff shall provide Defendant with fully underacted versions of the bank statements he has already provided, and all objections thereto are overruled. The only exception is that Plaintiff is not required to disclose his paystubs because that information is superfluous considering that Plaintiff has disclosed his bank statements. Plaintiff’s objections to providing records from Bank of America and HSBC are sustained.

“In other words, Plaintiff need not provide bank records from Bank of America or HSBC. The currently scheduled deposition of Plaintiff is postponed but must be rescheduled for a date that falls within the next thirty days. Plaintiff’s remaining objections to Defendant’s discovery requests are sustained. 6. The Clerk Court is directed to file Exhibit B of Defendant’s letter, ECF No. 69-2.”

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