The Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has threatened to institute a defamation suit against an online platform, George Uboh TV, over an offensive publication in which the latter accused the governor of demanding 10 per cent of a certain $47.8 million, being a “Consent Judgment” entered into by the Nigeria Governor’s Forum and a company, Panic Alert Security Systems, belonging to Uboh.
The publication also alleged that with Fayemi’s full acquiescence, foreigners plundered Nigeria’s mineral resources during his two terms as the Minister of Solid Minerals Development.
In a pre-action notice filed by his solicitors, Akinboro & Co, jointly signed by S. I. Ameh (SAN), J. S. Okutepa (SAN), Dr. G. U. Tetengi (SAN), Ahmed Raji (SAN) and Aare Olumuyiwa Akinboro (SAN), Fayemi is demanding a full retraction of the offensive publication from the platform (and any other platforms), an apology to be published on a daily basis for seven days and and N5 billion compensation to “for the utterly false and malicious publication.”
The publication, featured on March 31, 2021, was entitled: “Uboh to Gov Fayemi: Stop Your Pontification and Demagoguery: You Demanded 10% From Us.”
Fayemi insisted that the allegations against him are “absolutely false, untrue, malicious, unfounded, wicked, mischievous, reckless, libelous and calculated to cause him to be shunned, avoided or exposed to hatred, ridicule, contempt, opprobrium before his colleagues in the NGF, millions of Nigerian citizens and others worldwide and to convey an imputation on him, disparaging or injurious to his person, career and office as a responsible citizen, Governor and chairman of the NGF.”
The notice read: “Our client, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is a law-abiding Nigerian and is an urbane, upright, incorruptible, transparent, well-mannered gentleman, astute politician and war strategist/expert. Likewise, the NGF, which he chairs, is a very reputable and transparent organization with strict adherence to the rule of law, accountability, prudence and deep sense of patriotism.
“However, by the content of your publication in question, particularly the allegations, insinuations and or innuendos contained therein or arising therefrom, you have clearly portrayed our client as corrupt, kleptomaniac, devious, inhumane, dubious, irresponsible, and somebody who uses his position to foster and perpetrate corruption and self-aggrandizement.
“Our client’s records as Governor of Ekiti State, Minister of Steel Development and as Chairman of the NGF are there for all to see and clearly show that he never engaged in any form of corrupt practice, corrupt enrichment or collection of gratification for any purpose or reason in all the offices it has pleased God to put him in.
“It is not true that while he was a minister, foreigners plundered Nigeria’s mineral resources and or carted away such resources under his watch or with his acquiescence, as you claimed in your lie-infested story.
“Accordingly, we hereby demand the IMMEDIATE retraction of the publication of 31st March 2021 from your online and other platform(s) and to publish forthwith on daily basis for a period of seven days an open apology to our client and the NGF for the false and malicious publication.
“In addition, we hereby demand from you the immediate payment of the sum of N5,000,000,000 (Five Billion Naira) to our client for the utterly false and malicious publication.”
Failure or refusal to meet the demands within 14 days, they said, “would inexorably leave us with no other option than to commence legal action against you and seek necessary legal redress for and on behalf of our client.”