FAYEMI-PIC-2

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Former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has filed a suit against a former senatorial aspirant in the state, Mr. Kayode Otitoju and Arise Television for defamation of character and malicious airing of offending broadcast against him.

In the suit filed before an Ekiti State High Court, Fayemi is demanding a sum of N250 million from Otitoju and another N250 million Arise TV for alleged libelous statements made by the politician as an analyst on the television station.

According to the Writ of Summons of the suit made available to journalists on Sunday, Fayemi through his lawyer, Mr. 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).

Apart from the total sum of N500 million as exemplary and aggravated damages from the two Defendants, 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.

The Claimant (Fayemi) is also seeking the 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 the sum of N20 million cost of the suit from them.

Another relief being sought by the ex-Governor from the Court is 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum from the date the judgment is delivered until the judgment sum is finally liquidated.

According to the former Governor, Otitoju, who is also a former Commissioner for Information in Ekiti State, made several grievous and damaging allegations against his person while appearing on the said programme on Arise TV on 22nd November, 2022 in which he (Otitoju) described him (Fayemi) as “the problem we have in Ekiti.”

On the programme, the 1st Defendant (Otitoju) accused 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 (APC) governorship aspirant, Mr. Kayode Ojo, against the governorship primary victory of Mr. Biodun Oyebanji on January 27, 2022.

The 1st Defendant alleged that the Claimant teleguided (sic) the primary that produced Oyebanji as APC candidate and subsequently brought him (Oyebanji) to power. Otitoju also accused Fayemi of soiling the reputation of respected judges like Justice Kuewumi “who had to leave substance and ruled that the suit filed by Mr. Kayode Ojo was technically wrong.”

Otitoju, a Social Democratic Party (SDP) chieftain and a senatorial aspirant in Ekiti North, also alleged on the programme that Fayemi compromised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the governorship election contest between Oyebanji and the runner-up, Chief Segun Oni alleging that “Fayemi crowned Oyebanji by all means to be the Governor.”

Another allegation on the programme that got Otitoju into trouble was the one in which he accused Fayemi of “conducting a nocturnal sitting at the Ekiti State House of Assembly to get the former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Gboyega Aribisogan impeached and installed Rt. Hon. Bunmi Adelugba.”

Otitoju further alleged on the Arise TV programme that “the 2022 Supplementary Budget was padded to take care of all the Ekiti money Fayemi spent on his futile presidential ambition” accusing the former Governor of “messing up the reputation of Ekiti and messing up the state finances.”

The politician also accused Fayemi of wanting to impose his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi as the Senator for Ekiti North in the run-up to the 2023 National Assembly elections.

In his Statement of Claim before the Court, Fayemi said since 1st Defendant (Otitoju) made what he called “the malicious statements and airing of same by the 2nd Defendant (Arise TV), he and his political associates and followers have been inundated with calls, mails, text messages from within and outside the shores of Nigeria.

The former Governor averred further that members of his family, friends, all over the globe, former and incumbent Governors in Nigeria, APC leaders and supporters, prominent indigenes of Ekiti State home and abroad and numerous well wishers have expressed their shock and disappointment on the issues raised by Otitoju and made it clear that they don’t want to have anything to do with him again.

Fayemi averred 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 25th November, 2022 and 15th December, 2022 to comply with the demands therein but which the Defendants have refused to do.

The Claimant averred that on account of Defendants’ warped, myopic, untrue, ungodly and reckless malicious statements, he has been exposed and subjected to unwarranted public ridicule, odium, opprobrium, embarrassment and unprecedented disrepute.

The former Governor maintained that the malicious statements/publication made by the Defendants concerning home was not true and mere fabrication and falsehood orchestrated to paint him black and tainted his good image and record as an upright man and to destroy his future political career in Ekiti State and Nigeria.

The Claimant averred that on account of Defendants’ warped, myopic, untrue, ungodly and reckless malicious statements, he has been exposed and subjected to unwarranted public ridicule, odium, opprobrium, embarrassment and unprecedented disrepute.

The former Governor maintained that the malicious statements/publication made by the Defendants concerning home was not true and mere fabrication and falsehood orchestrated to paint him black and tainted his good image and record as an upright man and to destroy his future political career in Ekiti State and Nigeria.

Copies of the letters and the recorded version of the programme made by the 2nd Defendant have been pleaded and will be relied upon during the trial of the case.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

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