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Woman Sues Saraki, Atiku, Obi over Use of Picture

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A Lagos-based trader, Mrs. Amuda Adeleke, has slammed a lawsuit against former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki for alleged unauthorized use of her photo.

She alleged that the photo was used on campaign billboards without her consent.

It was learned she filed the lawsuit on Tuesday at a Federal High Court, Lagos.

The former Kwara state governor served as Director-General of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organization for the 2019 General Election.

Joined in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/./19, are the PDP, its presidential candidate at the said election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi.

Amuda is demanding N45m through her counsel, Kingsley Iheakaram, which will serve as compensation for the unlawful, unauthorized and unconstitutional use of her image by the respondents.

The applicant is also seeking an order of the court directing the immediate withdrawal and destruction of the campaign materials containing her unauthorized images anywhere within and outside Nigeria.

She equally asked the court to declare that the alleged unauthorized use, publication and display of her image as advertisement by Saraki as head of the Atiku, Obi Presidential Campaign Organizationconstituted a breach and an infringement of her fundamental rights to privacy as enshrined, guaranteed and provided for in the 1999 Constitution.

The applicant in an affidavit in support of the Originating Motion averred that last December 4, agents of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organization, AACO, under the leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki led a campaign on behalf of Atiku and Obi to Oyin Jolayemi Street Victoria Island, Lagos, to draw support for the candidacy of Atiku and Obi ahead of the 2019 presidential poll and that in the course of the campaign, AACO and Saraki began to personally engage individuals, traders entrepreneurs and other citizens on the said street including the plaintiff on their expectations in respect of the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

The plaintiff noted that at the interactive engagement, most of the individuals in the area including herself pledged support for Atiku and Obi due to the harsh economic situation in the country.

Saraki and his agents according to her took photographs without informing her that they were going to put them to any use and that she did not think much of it, thinking the first respondent took the picture just to commemorate the event.

It was however a surprise to her when she started seeing her pictures being used on campaign Bill Boards both in Lagos, Abuja and other places in the country while people started calling her from different places.

She added that sequel to the infringement on her privacy, she had to take time to explain to friends, relatives and well-wishers who had been inundating her with calls of the true state of affairs in respect of the unauthorized display of her image on billboards.

The plaintiff submitted thatall her friends who saw the advert said it portrayed her as a woman stricken by poverty who had lost all hope and was prepared to commit suicide.

However, the respondents in counter affidavits to the suit denied some of the plaintiff’s submissions noting that Atiku and Obi did not meet the plaintiff physically or in any other manner in the course of their campaign in Lagos state and neither took snapshots or photographs with her.

The defendants stated that all matters of electronic/billboards campaigns were contracted out to Messrs AHC Production Limited and so she was contacted and interviewed by thecompany.

The first and second defendants said they were informed by Mr Tokunbo Omulekulo of the said AHC Productions Limited at the PDP office in Abuja that the name of the applicant is not Mrs Amuda Adeleke, but rather Tope Olukolu with GSM phone number 08035059775 which is the name she gave to Omulekulo during the interview as contained in the consent agreement she signed with AHC Productions Limited.

The defendants also said the applicant was so excited about thepossibility of a change of government.

They claimed that the applicant, his friends and neighbours knew that their pictures were going to be used for electronic campaigns for Atiku and Obi and that those whose pictures were used for the electronic campaigns advertisement were dully paid and made to sign an agreement before their photographs and names were used.

They urged the court to dismiss the suit. Justice Ayokunle Faji has however fixed January 27, 2020 for further hearing.

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