Director of Media and Publicity of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has rounded up arrangements to drag Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and his party to court over alleged defamatory statements.
Speaking via a letter by his lawyers Ahmed Raji and Company on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Fani-Kayode described as libelous, the publication by Lai Mohammed and APC in the Nation Newspaper, demanding a retraction of the statement as well as apology within seven days.
Whyteman Prekunomaa of the firm further demanded N5 billion as damages done to his client’s reputation, failure of which will warrant a law suit.
He added: “You (Lai Mohammed) are also to enter into negotiation for damages as we have firm instructions to claim five billion naira damages against you. Take notice, therefore, that it will amount to a specious gamble on your part, if you treat this letter with levity.”
Fani-Kayode, who denied the content of the publication on page 6 of The Nation Newspaper of Tuesday, March 6, 2015, titled: “We’re concerned about Fani-Kayode’s mental status”, saying the claims therein was false and defamed his person and character.
The letter by his attorney’s titled ”Re: Femi Fani- Kayode: We’re Concerned about Fani KAYODE’s mental status”, read in full:
“We are solicitors to Chief Femi Fani — Kayode (hereinafter refereed to as Our Client). We write you pursuant to Our Client’s instruction in respect of a publication on Tuesday, the 3rd day of March, 2015 on Page 6 of Nation Newspaper wherein you made a statement and same was printed with the above caption, and hereunder reproduced as follows:
“Contrary to information being peddled by the Director of Media and Publicity of the Jonathan campaign Organisation . Femi FaniKayode the All Progressives Congress (A PC) has said the party does no, wish him any ill-health, “even though it is seriously concerned about his mental state.”…
“APC ‘s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in a statement in
Dubai yesterday, said; ‘‘No, we have never and will never wish anyone any ill-
“However, we are seriously concerned that Mr. Fani-Kayode may have unhinged, perhaps as a result of a relapse into an unhealthy lifestyle of substance abuse.
“Our concern stems from the series of incoherent statements, outlandish claims and inconsistent behaviours exhibited by Mr. Fani-Kayode in recen! times, which call into question his state of mental health.
“We wish Mr. Fani-Kayode well and call on him to tell Nigerians that he remains clean, despite the massive pressure of work, and that he will not do anything that will see him needing a prolonged reformation in a foreign land.
“The party said it was only an unstable mind and someone teetering on the brink that would conjure up the kind of improbable scenarios that had been put out there in quick succession by Mr. Fani-Kayode, and still believed strongly that he was doing the right thing.
“It said the APC did not harbour the kind of disturbed personalities, who abound
in the PDP, and who would not hesitate to publicly wish Jèllow Nigerians ill or
dead, as long as they believe such ill-will would endear them to their masters and guarantee their political survival.
“The party has, however, urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Fani- Kayode to produce evidence on their purported claims that the APC vice presidential running-mate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, entered into a pact with APC
“National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to resign as vice president after the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhan, might have won the presidential election.
“Director of Media and Publicity, APC presidential campaign organisation, Mallam Garba Shehu said the PDP and Fani-Kayode should provide evidence of the oath-taking and resignation of Prof Osinbajo for Asiwaju Tinubu or retract the libellous claims within 72 hours or be ready to be sued to court.
“He said: ‘For the PDP, through Fani-Kayode, to slate publicly that an erudite
professor of law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a reputable pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God swore to an oath to vacate his seat as the vice president for Asiwaju Tinubu, should the party win the forthcoming election, is an attack on the hard-won integrity and the reputations of these great Nigerians and A PC stalwarts.
“We view this as both slanderous and libellous and, therefore, will not leave the
matter to chance. To this effect, we hereby give Fani-Kayode and the PDP 72hours to produce evidence or in the alternative issue public apolo’ to Pastor
Osinbajo, Asiwaju Tinubu and our party, the APC, or be prepared to be charged to the court of law.
“Our Client denies in its entirety the contents of the above publication and innuendoes therein, and further states that every allegation against him in the said publication is false and defamatory of his person and character.
“Consequently, we demand that you withdraw the said statement and render an apology to our Client within Seven (7) days of the receipt of this letter. You are also to enter into negotiation for damages as we have firm instructions to claim Five Billion Naira damages against you.
TAKE NOTICE therefore, that it will amount to a specious gamble on your part, if you treat this letter with levity.”