Minister threatens to sue bodies over national orientation concept

Solomon Chung, Lagos

Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has threatened to sue two bodies over a publication on the “change begins with me campaign” launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on September 8.

The parties involved in the retraction and subsequent libel suit are; the Daily Independent newspaper and messers Akin Fadeyi, Omo Bazuaye both of Lagos state south west Nigeria.

For Dialy Independent, the paper had claimed in its publication on September 15, the newspaper that the campaign gulped N3.4 billion.

In  a letter dated September 19  by Falana and Falana’s chambers, headed by Femi Falana and made available to Voice of Nigeria correspondent, the minister’s counsel, described the publication as libellous and a damage to his client’s image.

“Having damaged our client’s hard-earned reputation by your reckless action in your publication in volume 4,No 208 of the 15th September 2016 edition of the paper caption Change Begins With Me Campaign gulps N3.4bn…”

The letter further stated that ”…The aforesaid publication albeit falsely claimed that “Change Begins With Me launched by the President of Nigeria was stolen from you by our client.” As a result, we have his instruction to demand a retraction of your libellous publication within seven days of the receipt of this letter,” the letter read.
“Take notice that if you fail or refuse to accede to our client’s demands, we have his instruction to sue you with a view to restoring his reputation, which your reckless publication has damaged.”
Also, the minister threatened to sue Akin Fadeyi and Omo Bazuaye who had claimed the he (Mohammed) stole the idea of the campaign from them.

Mohammed, through his counsel, also sought for a retraction of the aforementioned within seven days.

It would be recalled that on the 8th of september 2016,President Muhammadu Buhari launched the national reorientation program tagged change begins with me in Abuja,Nigeria’s capital city.