By Ella Makondo and Ayodele Oluwafemi
Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode has demanded N6billion and apologies in two national newspapers from Daily Trust for calling him a drug addict.
Fani-Kayode in a letter to Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust expressed strong reservation on what he described as a libelous article written by Iliyasu Gadu in its Sunday edition which he said defamed his character.
The article arose from a press conference penultimate week in Calabar, Cross River State during which Fani-Kayode slammed a Daily Trust journalist as stupid for asking who bankrolled his jaunts across the states.
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,’ described the article 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, was in response to an article titled, ‘FFK, the Drug Addled Thug in Designer Wears’ dated August 30, 2020 and published by Daily Trust.
According to the letter , the writer had in his article defamed Fani-Kayode’s character for his conduct during a press conference in which he described Eyo Charles as’ stupid ‘ for asking him a question about the identity of persons “bankrolling” his current tour of South- South states.
Gadu, the writer of 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.”
Fani-Kayode therefore demanded that a negotiation be entered into for possible payment of N6bn due to the irreparable loss the article had caused him.
The letter read 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.”
It gave the management of the national daily 14 days to comply or face legal action.