Fayemi Sues Ex-Ekiti Commissioner, Arise TV For Defamation, Demands N500M

Former governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, has sued a former commissioner and senatorial aspirant in the state, Kayode Otitoju, and Arise Television for alleged defamation of character and malicious airing of offensive broadcast against him.

In the suit filed before an Ekiti State High Court, Fayemi is demanding a sum of N250 million from Mr Otitoju and another N250 million from Arise TV for alleged libellous 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, Mr Fayemi through his lawyer, Babatunde Oke, demanded a retraction of the said defamatory statements.

The former Governor is also demanding a public apology which must be published in at least three prominent national newspapers in Nigeria and posted on the internet/social media.

Mr 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 judgement sum from the date the judgement is delivered until the judgement sum is finally liquidated.

He said Mr Otitoju, a former Commissioner for Information in the state, made several grievous and damaging allegations against his person while appearing on the said programme on Arise TV on 22 November 2022 in which he (Otitoju) described him (Fayemi) as “the problem we have in Ekiti.”

He alleged that Mr Otitoju had accused him 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, Kayode Ojo, against the governorship primary victory of Biodun Oyebanji on January 27, 2022.

The 1st Defendant was also said to have alleged that the Claimant had manipulated the primary that produced Mr Oyebanji as APC candidate and subsequently brought him (Oyebanji) to power.

Mr Otitoju had also accused Mr Fayemi of soiling the reputation of respected judges like Justice Kuewumi “who had to leave the substance and ruled that the suit filed by Mr Kayode Ojo was technically wrong.”

Mr Otitoju is a Social Democratic Party (SDP) chieftain and a senatorial aspirant in Ekiti North.

He was also shown on the programme accusing Mr 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.”

The politician also accused Mr Fayemi of wanting to impose his wife, 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, Mr Fayemi said since the 1st Defendant (Otitoju) made “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 Mr Otitoju and made it clear that they don’t want to have anything to do with him again.

Mr Fayemi said that he had instructed 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 the defendants refused to do so.

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.”

He maintained that the malicious statements/publication made by the Defendants concerning him was not true and 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 in Ekiti State and Nigeria.

Copies of the letters and the recorded version of the programme made by the 2nd Defendant have been pleaded.

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

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