Fayose’s aides get seven-day ultimatum to retract libelous statements against Fayemi

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Former Governor of Ekiti State and Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has given a seven-day ultimatum to a member of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Samuel Omotoso; and the Special Assistant on New Media and Public Communications to Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, Lere Olayinka, to retract libelous statements against him on a live television programme aired on the state television on July 6, 2016.

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In a letter on behalf of the Minister from the Law Chambers of R.O. Balogun & Co, dated November 19, Fayemi is asking both Omotosho and Olayinka to make a retraction and public apology, which must be given equal prominence like the offending statements and utterances.

They are also to pay Fayemi N100 million for the offending statement within the period, failure of which an action would be filed against them in the law court.

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The duo of Omotoso and Olayinka had during a live programme on the Ekiti State Television, tagged: Ejiire, on July 6, 2016 alleged that Fayemi illegally took N1.5 billion from Ekiti State treasury and gave it to President Muhammadu Buhari, for the presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

They also alleged that Fayemi looted Ekiti State treasury.

They alleged fraud in the purchase of vehicles for traditional rulers and withdrawal of N852 million SUBEB money.

Olayinka had said during the programme: “Fayemi paid Ekiti N852 million into SUBEB account at Access Bank and now this is the fraud he committed: It was this money that qualifies Ekiti to receive Abuja’s N852 million SUBEB money, but immediately the money dropped into Ekiti SUBEB account, Fayemi just withdrew the state counterpart fund from the SUBEB account and Abuja SUBEB caught them red-handed in the fraud game, just like 419.”

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Olayinka also said that Fayemi illegally collected N5 billion from Ecobank in the name of Fountain Holdings for purported road construction.

He also alleged that Fayemi borrowed money on behalf of the state to build a Government House for his wife and children.

He also alleged that Fayemi spent the state’s funds to build a private university for himself in Ghana.

Omotoso said Fayemi refused to pay pensioners, but was “acting like armed robber and carted away Ekiti money”, adding that he was not “just saying it for fun that Fayemi stole Ekiti money, but he went away with Ekiti money and destroyed the economy of the state”.

But Fayemi in a letter by his lawyer, Chief R.O. Balogun, demanded a public apology with the same prominence they committed the offence, retraction of the offensive comment and payment of N100 million within seven days of the receipt of the letter, otherwise they would be sued for criminal defamation of character.

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The Minister had complained through his counsel that their utterances during the programme portrayed him as a very corrupt public office holder and fraudulent person who siphoned public funds at the detriment of Ekiti State citizens while serving as governor.

He also complained that he was exposed to “public ridicule, odium, opprobrium, embarrassment and unprecedented disrepute”, arguing that the duo had done “incalculable and tremendous injury to his image and personality as an international figure”.

Balogun said if within seven days the defendants refused to comply with the demands, his client would have no choice than to drag them to court to ventilate the grievances.

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