Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has filed a N500million suit against a former Commissioner for Information in the state, Kayode Otitoju and Arise Television for alleged defamation of character and malicious airing of offending broadcast against him.
In the suit, HAD/10/2023, filed before an Ekiti State High Court on January 25, 2023, Fayemi is demanding N250 million from Otitoju and another N250 million from Arise TV for alleged defamatory statements made by the politician as an analyst on the television station on November 22, 2022.
According to the Writ of Summons of the suit made available to journalists on Sunday, Fayemi through his lawyer, Babatunde Oke, is demanding a retraction of the defamatory statements aired against him by the 1st Defendant (Otitoju) while appearing as an analyst on Newsday, a programme of the 2nd Defendant (Arise TV).
The former governor is also demanding a public apology to himself which must be published in at least three prominent national newspapers in Nigeria and posted on the internet/social media.
He is also seeking leave of the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from making similar or further defamatory statements or publications against him while also demanding N20 million cost of the suit from them and as well 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum from the date the judgment is delivered until the judgment sum is finally liquidated.
Fayemi averred that he had been exposed and subjected to “unwarranted public ridicule, odium, opprobrium, embarrassment and unprecedented disrepute” on account of defendants’ untrue and reckless malicious statements, which he described as mere fabrication and falsehood orchestrated to paint him black and taint his good image and record as an upright man and to destroy his future political career.
He alleged that Otitoju made several grievous and damaging allegations against his person on the said programme, where he allegedly described him (Fayemi) as “the problem we have in Ekiti.”
These, he said, included accusing Fayemi of colluding with Justice Babs Kuewumi of the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti Judicial Division to perpetrate perversion of justice in the suit filed by an All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant, Kayode Ojo, against the governorship primary victory of Biodun Oyebanji on January 27, 2022.
According to the former governor, Otitoju, on the programme, accused him of “conducting a nocturnal sitting at the Ekiti State House of Assembly to get the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan, impeached and installed Bunmi Adelugba,” among others.
Fayemi said that he caused the firm of his lawyers, Octodas Attorneys, “to write the defendants demanding a retraction of the offending statement/publication via letters dated November 25, 2022 and December 15, 2022 to comply with the demands therein, but which the defendants have refused to do.”