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Alleged Defamation: Fani-Kayode Threatens Legal War, Demands N6bn, Apology From Daily Trust



The management of Media Trust Limited – publishers of Daily Trust and other publications have been called upon to enter into a negotiation with the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, for possible settlement of N6bn for alleged defamation of character.

In a letter addressed to the Managing Director of Daily Trust, dated August 31, 2020 and titled, ‘Defamation of the character of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, by Iliyasu Gadu,’ the former Minister described an article published in Daily Trust as libelous and demanded an apology from the newspaper, which must be published in other national dailies

The letter, which was signed by the former minister’s lawyer, Adeola Adesipe, came sequel to an article titled, ‘FFK, the Drug Addled Thug in Designer Wears’ dated August 30, 2020 and published by the medium.

Fani-Kayode was specifically lampooned in the said article for his conduct during a Press conference in which he described a Daily Trust reporter in Calabar, Eyo Charles, as ‘stupid’ after the journalist asked question about the identity of  persons “bankrolling” his current tour of southern states.

Particularly, Gadu, who authored the article, claimed that Fani-Kayode, who attended Cambridge University, was once “a drug addict” and had sought rehabilitation in Ghana, but “till today has not been cured of the habit.”

However, in his pre-litigation letter, Fani-Kayode, further demanded that negotiation be entered into for possible payment of N6bn due to the irreparable loss the article had caused him.

The letter reads in part, “Be aware that our client has not only suffered immeasurable loss of goodwill, he is currently confronted with unbearable opprobrium by his fans, followers and colleagues across the globe.

“Our client is alive to his rights both in law and equity but is disposed to an opportunity to undo the evil you have done by retracting the said insalubrious remarks on the same platform it was published and apologising to him in two other national dailies.

“You are also advised to enter into negotiations with us for the sum of N6bn being a token amount for penitence as opposed to the magnitude of infraction caused to our client’s nobility.”

Daily Trust was given  14 days to comply or face legal action.

The former Minister equally wrote a similar letter to Gadu, who authored the article.

It would be recalled that Fani-Kayode had drawn the attention of many Nigerians to himself recently after a viral video showed him talking down at a journalist, an incident he has apologised for.

However, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, as well as many other civil organisations, have continued to criticise Fani-Kayode, while many reporters have boycotted his ongoing tour of the southern states.

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