The former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba has charged an Afenifere Chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu to court over an alleged libelous statement made against him by Okurounmu.
In a suit, marked AB/493/2019 and dated Friday, November 8, Osoba through his counsel, Wole Olanipekun SAN, demanded N3billion damages and also sought an order of the court directing the defendant (Okurounmu) to tender unreserved apology and render unequivocal retraction of the “malicious publications.”
The former Governor, in the suit filed at the State High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, the State capital also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining Okurounmu from granting interviews or any libelous publications against him.
In July, Okurounmu in an interview published by a national daily had reportedly described Osoba as a “traitor and double-faced politician” who betrayed the acclaimed winner of June 13, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola.
But Osoba, in a letter dated July 23, 2019 and addressed to Okurounmu through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), gave the Okurounmu, a 14-day ultimatum to apologise and comply with the “simple demands” or be charged to court.
According to the letter, the public apology is to be published “on the front pages of seven (7) consecutive editions of both newspapers, starting from Monday, 29th July, 2019.”
But three months after the letter, Osoba said Okurounmu had neither acknowledged receipt of the letter or shown remorse, hence, the litigation.
Osoba in the Writ of Summons attached with Statement of Claim, obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abeokuta, submitted that due to the publications he had suffered “humiliation, vilification and unjust criticism from young and old within and outside Nigeria.”
“By reason of the foregoing, defendant has smeared and damaged the claimant’s character, grievously injured his reputation, deflated his human currency and bruised his ego, leaving him in stress and distress.
“Unless restrained by the order of this Honourable court, the defendant will continue to publish or cause to be published and disseminated, the said or similar publications in form of interviews, both to journalists or others, against the claimant and/or his person,” the statement of claim partly reads”.