Al Muntada wins libel damages in Nigeria

UK charity the Al Muntada Al Islami Trust has been awarded damages worth over £100,000 by the High Court of Kano, Nigeria in a defamation case brought by the charity against a Nigerian newspaper that had alleged it had links with terrorism. African Newspapers of Nigeria, publisher of the Nigerian Tribune, were ordered to pay Al Muntada 50 million Nigerian Naira (approximately £107,000) in damages, to issue a full apology; and to refrain from publishing any further defamatory statements in relation to the charity.

The case was brought over allegations made by the Tribune in 2012 that there were links between the charity and the terrorist organisation Boko Haram. The allegations were then repeated by international media outlets and politicians. Al Muntada claimed this false allegation has led to permanent reputational damage to the organisation, in the UK, Nigeria and elsewhere. It instigated legal proceedings immediately and finally obtained a judgment in its favour earlier this month.

Dr Saeed Al-Ghadie, general supervisor of Al Muntada, said: “We will now ensure all steps are taken to fully restore Al Muntada’s exemplary reputation”. He said the charity would seek to ensure that its charitable activities “continue unburdened by the weight of these malicious and fabricated stories.” The charity points out that the original allegations are currently still referenced in books, academic journals and official documents produced by some governments.

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