Media anchors for both the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are now drawn into personal warfare, as the Director of Media and Publicity of PDP Campaign, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode writes the spokesperson of the APC, Lai Muhammad through his lawyer, demanding the sum of N5 billion as damages on defamation of his character.
Fani-Kayode, through his lawyer Whyte Prekunoma, was protesting against a response by APC through Lai Mohammed that his (Fani-Kayode’s) outburst on alleged oath taking between Tinubu and Buhari’s Vice Presidential candidate, Oshibajo stemmed from effects of his alleged unhealthy lifestyle worsened by ‘abuse of substance’, an indication that he was suffering from a relapse.
The APC had earlier threatened to drag Fani-Kayode to a court of law for allegedly making what it described as slanderous and libelous remarks against the party’s leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the running mate to APC’s Presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osibajo on issue of oath taking.
In a statement signed by Lai Mohammed and widely published in the media, the APC, taking umbrage in an allegation credited to Fani-Kayode on the issue of oath-taking between Tinubu and Oshibajo asked the PDP Campaign spokesman to retract his remarks within 72 hours, failing which he would be charged to the court of law.”
In a swift reaction, Fani-Kayode’s lawyer in a letter to Lai Muhammad said it was rather his client who felt slandered by APC calling him names and describing him as an unstable mind.
The lawyer in the letter to Lai Mohammed said, “Our Client denies in its entirety the contents of the publication and innuendoes contained in APC’s press statement, and further states that every allegation against him in the said publication is false and defamatory of his person and character.
The lawyer warned Lai Mohammed not to gamble and treat his letter with levity if he is not to regret doing that.
Below is what the lawyer regarded as the offensive part of Lai Muhammed’s Press statement.
“Our concern stems from the series of incoherent statements, outlandish claims and inconsistent behaviours exhibited by Mr. Fani-Kayode in recent times, which call into question his state of mental health.
“We wish Mr. Fani-Kayode well and call on him to tell Nigerians that he remains clean, despite the massive pressure of work, and that he will not do anything that will see him needing a prolonged reformation in a foreign land”.
“The party said it was only an unstable mind and someone teetering on the brink that would conjure up the kind of improbable scenarios that had been put out there in quick succession by Mr. Fani-Kayode, and still believed strongly that he was doing the right thing.
“It said the APC did not harbour the kind of disturbed personalities, who abound in the PDP, and who would not hesitate to publicly wish fellow Nigerians ill or dead, as long as they believe such ill-will would endear them to their masters and guarantee their political survival.
“The party has, however, urged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Fani-Kayode to produce evidence on their purported claims that the APC vice presidential running-mate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, entered into a pact with APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to resign as vice president after the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhan, might have won the presidential election.
Director of Media and Publicity, APC presidential campaign organisation, Mallam Garba Shehu said the PDP and Fani-Kayode should provide evidence of the oath-taking and resignation of Prof Osinbajo for Asiwaju Tinubu or retract the libelous claims within 72 hours or be ready to be sued to court.
He said: ‘For the PDP, through Fani-Kayode, to state publicly that an erudite professor of law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a reputable pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God swore to an oath to vacate his seat as the vice president for Asiwaju Tinubu, should the party win the forthcoming election, is an attack on the hard-won integrity and the reputations of these great Nigerians and APC stalwarts.
“We view this as both slanderous and libelous and, therefore, will not leave the matter to chance. To this effect, we hereby give Fani-Kayode and the PDP 72 hours to produce evidence or in the alternative issue public apology to Pastor Osinbajo, Asiwaju Tinubu and our party, the APC, or be prepared to be charged to the court of law.”