Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is warming up for a legal action against the Nigerian Compass newspaper and the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) over libellous publication.
Fayemi through his counsel, Mr. Rafiu O. Balogun, has written a letter to Western Publishing Company, publishers of the Nigerian Compass and NULGE demanding a retraction of what he called “tendentious and irresponsible publications.”
The letter is sequel to the expiration of the seven-day ultimatum given by the Governor to both Nigerian Compass Newspaper and NULGE, Ekiti State chapter to retract the allegation or be prepared to defend it in the court of law.
The governor said the newspaper had in its 25th August, 2012 edition published a baseless and unfounded story with a screaming headline: “HELP! Fayemi is deducting N1 billion from councils monthly-NULGE”
Nigerian Compass, the governor added, followed up with another report the following day in which he and his Osun State counterpart, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola were accused by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South West zone of making secret trip to the United States to influence Supreme Court judges on the case filed by ousted Governor Segun Oni.
In the letter written from the chambers of R.O Balogun and Co, dated 4th September, 2012, Fayemi gave Nigerian Compass seven days to retract the stories and publish a public apology which must be given equal prominence like the publications under reference.
The governor is also demanding the sum of N10, 000, 000, 000. 00 (Ten Billion Naira Only), as damages from Nigerian Compass for the incalculable and tremendous injury done to his image, reputation and personality by the malicious publications.
Fayemi regretted that Nigerian Compass fabricated and concocted stories fell short of ethics and standard practice of journalism as they were published without hearing his own side before going to the press.
The said publications, according to him, portrayed him as a very corrupt public officer who illegally and in a brazen manner, deducted and continue to deduct a whopping sum of at least N1 billion from the allocation of local government councils in Ekiti State on monthly basis.
Fayemi is also aggrieved that Nigerian Compass portrayed him as an irresponsible governor, who shamelessly siphoned public funds and travelled out with Aregbesola to bribe the Chief Justice of Nigeria and other Supreme Court justices on vacation abroad and pout undue pressure on them on account of an appeal purportedly pending before them.
In another letter dated September 4th, 2012, Fayemi also demanded a retraction of a story credited to the state Secretary of NULGE, Mr. V.A. Adebayo purporting that he deducted and continue to deduct N1 billion from local government allocation on monthly basis.
Fayemi said the report portrayed him as a fraudulent governor who siphons public funds to the detriment of the local government councils in the state and the well-being of workers in the council.
Apart from a retraction, the governor is also demanding a public apology and withdrawal of the baseless allegation which must be pated in conspicuous notice boards in all the local government councils in the state.
He is also demanding that NULGE must advertise the retraction and apology in at least three major national newspapers.
NULGE, according to him, must also convey the retraction and apology through a broadcast jingle to be run on Radio Nigeria Progress 100.5 FM, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti FM 91.5, Ado-Ekiti, NTA Ado-Ekiti and EKTV for seven days.
The governor maintained that unless Adebayo complies with the demands within seven days of receipt of the letter, he will not hesitate to drag him (Adebayo) and NULGE to court to compel them to pay aggravated damages running into several billion of naira.
It is recalled that Nigerian Compass had between August 25th and 26th published series of libellous stories against the person of Governor Fayemi, whereupon the Governor demanded a retraction of the allegations or resort to legal action.
Last modified: September 4, 2012