The former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba has sued an Afenifere Chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu to court over an alleged libelous statement.
Osoba, 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.”
In the suit filed at the State High Court, sitting in Abeokuta, the State capital, Osoba also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining Okurounmu from granting interviews or any libelous publications against him.
It would be recalled that Okurounmu, in an interview published by a national daily, in July, 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.
Osoba in a swift reaction, wrote a letter, dated July 23, 2019 to Okurounmu through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and gave him a 14-day ultimatum to apologise and comply with the “simple demands” or risk litigation.
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 Uhuru Times 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.
The former Governor described Okurounmu’s statement as unbecoming and unbefitting of a Yoruba elder.
He said, “Elders in Yorubaland, in particular, and Africa, generally, do not talk like the defendant (Senator Femi Okunronmu) did, especially in respect of a fellow elder.
“Yoruba elder, in particular, and an African elder, generally, does not carelessly talk the way the defendant did, but is always courteous and restrained in his or her comments, especially when such comments were/are reduced into writing, and more particularly, when such comments were made to journalists for the purpose of publication,” Osoba added.