Minister of Mines and Steel Development Kayode Fayemi has sued a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Samuel Omotoso and Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media Lere Olayinka for libel.
Fayemi, a former governor, is claiming N3 billion as damages from Omotoso and Olayinka in the suit filed by his counsel, Rafiu Balogun, at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court for alleged offensive statements.
The minister’s action followed the defendants’ failure to retract the libellous statements and tender a public apology as demanded by Balogun, in a November 19 letter.
The plaintiff is seeking, among others, payment of aggravated damages of N3billion (N2 billion against Olayinka, the first defendant and another N1 billion against Omotoso).
Besides, he is also seeking a retraction of the offensive statements/utterances; a public apology to be published and aired on Ekiti State Television (EKTV) and Channels Television as well as on social media.
Fayemi is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from publishing or making statements or utterances similar or further libellous publications or statements or utterances against him.
Omotoso and Olayinka on an EKTV live programme, tagged Ejiire on July 6, last year, alleged that Fayemi took N1.5billion from the state’s treasury and gave it to the then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari.
Olayinka also said Fayemi illegally collected N5billion from Ecobank in the name of Fountain Holdings for a purported road project.
He alleged that the minister spent the state’s funds to build a private university in Ghana.
Balogun argued that his client was exposed to “public ridicule, odium, opprobrium, embarrassment and unprecedented disrepute”, arguing that the duo had done “incalculable and tremendous injury to our client’s image and personality as an international figure”.
No date has been fixed for hearing.