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N10B Fraud: Kassim Afegbua Blast Secondus Threatens PDP Chair With N3B Counter Claim

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Former information commissioner in Edo State and member of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Kassim Afegbua, has again punched his party’s national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.

Secondus and Afegbua are locked in a legal battle over the latter’s allegation that a whopping N10billion belonging to PDP has not been properly accounted for under the watch of the former as national chairman.

Secondus, in pursuit of Justice, wrote Afegbua demanding an apology and N1billion in damages.

But Afegbua, who is not prepared to entertain any of the demands and desirous of pushing through his quest for a thorough probe into the books of the party by anti-corruption agencies, has replied Secondus and threatened a counter-claim of N3billion in damages.

 

KACCL/LET/AS/04/42                                                                    30th April 2021

The Principal Counsel,

Emeka Etiaba S.A.N, Etiaba & Co.

BMC Law House,

No. 3 Kibuyu Close,

Off Nairobi Street,

Off Aminu Kano Crescent,

Wuse II, Abuja.

Attention:

Emeka Etiaba SAN, FCIArb

RE: CASE OF DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER OF PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS: NATIONAL CHAIRMAN, PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 We act as Solicitors to Prince Kassim Afegbua (hereinafter referred to as “Our Client”) and it is on his firm and unequivocal instructions that we make the following representation.

1.2 We write in response to your letter of 29th April 2021 to Our Client wherein you demanded a retraction of the purported publication allegedly made by him in Daily Trust Newspapers (sic) of Tuesday, April 27, 2021, and Daily Sun Newspapers (sic) of Tuesday, April 27, 2021, and same has been forwarded to our Law Firm.

1.3 Upon a careful perusal of same with the finery of a toothcomb, we are compelled to reply same in order to put you in the right perspective and for you to properly advise your Client.

2.0 OUR CLIENT’S RESPONSE

2.1 Firstly, it is important to state pronto and very clearly too that our Client denies every allegation contained in your letter under reference, particular the allegation that he authorized the publications of the alleged information on the Newspapers as spuriously stated and cannot take responsibility for whatsoever published in the said Newspapers which have constitutional duty to uphold the responsibility and accountability of the Government to the people as enshrined in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

2.2 It is also interesting to note that our Client is neither a Publisher, Editor nor Director of any of the Newspapers where the said information was published. His action is accurate, does not reasonably and absolutely imply what your Client alleges it does, and above all, Our Client’s action constitutes a protected and privileged deed.

2.3 What is more, the issues raised by our Client in his Petition to Law Enforcement Agencies were in the public domain and arising from the forensic audit report of the Party. They qualify as fair comments on the matter of public interest.

2.4 Be that as it may, our Client as a concerned citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a Member of the Peoples Democratic Party has a constitutional, statutory and moral duty to report suspected criminal conduct to Law Enforcement Agencies for investigation and apprehension.

2.5 We respectfully commend you to the case of Ezeugo v Agim (2015) LPELR-24572 (CA) where the Court held as follows:

The Law is settled that in this country a citizen who believes that a crime has been or is likely to be committed by a person either against him or another citizen is entitled to report the matter to the Police and how the Police go about the performance of their duties in investigating the matter is at their discretion and not the burden of the complainant.”

2.6 Sir, also in the case of Fajemirokun vs Commercial Bank (Credia Lybnnais) Nig Ltd (2009) 5 NWLR (Pt 1135) 558 at 600 the Apex Court further held that the citizens cannot be held culpable for doing their duty. Hence, our Client has only performed his obligation to report a suspected infraction of the Law to the appropriate authorities and cannot be held liable for such.

2.7 The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation. Your Client has made much ado about being “not only a decent gentleman but a Minister of the Gospel of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, a Mentor, Grandfather, Father and a loving Husband.” He also bragged that he is “a statesman who has devoted his time to the nurturing of our democracy and the PDP (as has been so heralded by the members of the Party)”

2.8 Our Client is not unaware of series of petitions and allegations against your Client which are currently under investigation by both National and Foreign Law Enforcement Agencies (he shall unravel same at the appropriate forum). Similarly, his confessional statement and almost two weeks detention when he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2016 on the allegation of illegal receipt of 25 luxury vehicles is quite instructive and pungent on this matter. We, therefore, do not see how our Client’s lawful and privileged Petition to Law Enforcement Agencies has affected the reputation of your Client which he has already created for himself through his words and actions.

2.9 It is also rather axiomatic that your Client in your Letter under reference never denied the bona fide suspicion of our Client but rather embarked on a flamboyant voyage of egocentrism and self-imagery. It would have been a disservice not just to the members of the People’s Democratic Party but to democracy itself to silence our Client’s voice.

2.10 Our Client has done what the law permits him to do by petitioning relevant Law Enforcement Agencies about a subject of deep public concern. If your Client believes that he is innocent of the allegations against him, he should approach the constituted authority and absolve himself rather than raising arguments frivolously fritted on the altar of making a needless point.

2.11 We wish to further state more emphatically that prior to the receipt of your Letter by our Client, the same has been published in print and electronic media and read by the public. If your Client wants to protect his image as claimed, why would he publish a legal correspondence in print and electronic media? What was supposed to have been a solemn declaration was transmogrified into a musical concert or show of comedy, social recklessness and public superciliousness.

2.12 A cursory look at the evasive, misleading and defamatory Letter which is being circulated in prints and electronic media, including the intent and purport thereof clearly portrayed our Client as a patent liar, blackmailer, defamer who is merely chasing public clout at the expenses of the “integrity” and “reputation” of your Client.

2.13 We, therefore, deem it crucial to most respectfully intimate you on the person of Our Client and his standing particularly as the tone of your Letter displays a befuddling ignorance of who Prince Kassim Afegbua is, in the hope, perhaps, that this will serve as a guide in your subsequent correspondence and action(s) in dealing with Our Client.

2.14 Our Client is a notable Public Activist, Public Affairs Analyst and Investigative Journalist who has over the years selflessly committed himself to the fight against corruption and social injustice in Nigeria with the drive of making our country a sane society and achieving a workable system for the citizenry. His philosophy is driven towards ensuring transparency in the public sector, holding public officers accountable to the people.

2.15 Our Client in the past has served in several public positions such as Spokesman to former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR; Chief Press Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomole,  Special Adviser, Media & Strategy to Governor Adams Oshiomole, Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Edo State; Acting National Chairman, National Democratic Party (NDP); Director-General, National Headquarters, National Democratic Party (NDP).

2.16 Prince Kassim Afegbua who is a founding member of the Peoples Democratic Party has also held several privileged positions in the party. He was the Spokesman, PDP Presidential Campaign Council at the 2019 General Election and also was an Aspirant at the 2019 House of Representatives General Election.

2.17 It is instructive to note that Our Client has severally utilized the instrumentality of the court to ensure probity and due adherence to the cause of justice. You are please referred to Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/129/2018 between Prince Kassim Afegbua v. The Federal Republic of Nigeria & 2 Ors. Hence, he is not a man to make baseless accusations or complaints to Law Enforcement Agencies, neither can he be intimidated by tenuous legal action.

2.18 Let it be known Sir, that Our Client does not harbour any bitter feelings or hatred towards Prince Uche Secondus, rather Our Client will consistently hold persons in the public trust to account on the need to sanitize the country of corruption irrespective of whose ox is gored. Our Client’s motive is to task all relevant security agencies to do their job by investigating anyone reasonably suspected of having committed a crime and not necessarily directed to reduce any person in the circumstance.

3.0 CONCLUSION AND COUNTER DEMAND

3.1 As a Firm of Legal Practitioners we have founded a Law Firm which has for decades been solidly established on the core values of integrity, dexterity, diligence and service, we have duly advised Our Client of his rights and interest in the circumstance and we have come to the irresistible conclusion that we find Prince Uche Secondus’s demands for an apology and his ₦1,000,000,000.00 (One Billion Naira) in damages as ridiculous, laughable and shadow-boxing, giving the unavoidable impression that your Client is simply an actor in the theatre of trivialities and farcicality.

3.2 While we are not unmindful of the seeming intentions of your Client through his paid agents, cronies and lackeys to muffle our Client into a state of silence using a carrot and stick approach of which some in one breath, call for truce and some others make covert and overt threats and trepidation to our Client’s life. Sir, we are conversant with this good cop, bad cop principle.

3.3 On the threat, we have immediately alerted the office of the Acting Inspector General of Police and we take the liberty of this Letter to beseech you as a shining light and Leader of the Bar to further advise your Client to refrain from contacting or threatening our Client.

3.4 Sir, it must be further stated with every sense of purpose that we shall ensure, as ministers in the temple of justice and adherent to the dictates of the rule of law that the water of justice is not muddled in the instant case by any guise and Our Client is unwavering in his resolve to ensure that investigations are conducted to logical conclusions.

3.5 Considering the defamatory content of the Letter dated 29th April, 2021 which has been wittingly circulated in print and electronic media including Vanguard, Guardian Newspapers, Whatsapp Messenger, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to discredit our Client’s reputation we shall not hesitate to Counter Claim the sum of ₦3,000,000,000.00 (Three Billion Naira) as damages for defamation, cost of prosecution and other claims which shall be disclosed at the appropriate forum. Please know that our Client reserves his right in the circumstance.

3.6 To say more at this point will be otiose! Please let your Client be guided Sir.

Sincerely,

Dr. Olukayode Ajulo, Esq.

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Princess Tried To Seduce Baba Ijesha Severally –Actor’s Niece

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A young lady, Ewatomilola Ayeni, who identified herself as a niece to embattled Nollywood actor, Olanrewaju Omiyinka, aka Baba Ijesha; has alleged that popular comedienne, Adekola Adekanya, also known as Princess tried several times to seduce the embattled actor.

Ayeni disclosed this while speaking with reporters at the Yaba Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Wednesday after the court declined to grant the bail application brought before it by Baba Ijesha.

Baba Ijesha has been in police custody since April 22, 2021, when the Lagos State Police Command announced his arrest for allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the care of Princess.

Baba Ijesha, who wore a blue t-shirt, was taken to court in a black maria vehicle of the Rapid Response Squad.

One of the counsels for the suspect, Kayode Olabinran, said he prayed the court to grant his client bail on health grounds but the court declined the prayer on the premise that the case was already filed at the High Court in Lagos by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in the state.

Addressing journalists after Baba Ijesha was taken back to the State Criminal Investigation Department in the Panti area of the state, Ayeni, who claimed to be the actor’s niece, said the allegations filed against him were baseless.

She said, “My name is Ewatomilola Ayeni and the person in question is my elder brother; I am a niece to Baba Ijesha.

“If indeed Ijesha did what he was accused of, his mother-in-law is here and she won’t support him if he is guilty of the offence.

“Everyone is shouting, ‘defilement’ but if they know what happened seven years ago…

“Has Princess herself revealed the number of times she seduced Ijesha? Ijesha cannot fight but we will fight for him.

“There were times that Princess called Ijesha to come over to her place, that she has prepared Ofada stew, knowing full well that he has a wife, even though she is not in Nigeria.”

“You claim to befriend to somebody and you are also the enemy. Why are you a friend enemy to him?” she queried.

Ayeni further said Baba Ijesha is not a paedophile, saying, “I have lived with him all my life and he never abused me. They want to tarnish his image because of his fame.”

“The government should ensure that the innocent does not die in the place of the guilty because anyone who hears one side of the matter without hearing the other side is evil because he (Baba Ijesha) knows nothing about this case,” she concluded

Repeated efforts by our correspondent to get the comments of Princess proved abortive as she didn’t take her calls and didn’t reply to text messages sent to her lines.

However, Princess has taken to her verified Instagram account to release some damning evidence against Baba Ijesha.

The comedienne, in a series of posts, shared a recording of Baba Ijesha, alleging that while in police custody, he instructed his group members to spread false information.

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“You dial trouble” Dino Melaye Reacts To Alleged Car Debt  

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Former Kogi west senator, Dino Jonah Melaye has reacted to reports that he allegedly owes a car dealership by the name ‘unique motors’ money over a vehicle purchase.

The report began after Melaye posted a picture of himself in a Roll Royce Cullinan on Instagram on Wednesday. Shortly after, a user with the name ‘Unique Motors’ heckled the senator via a comment on the post that he owed them money.

“Sir, You still have an outstanding balance to pay unique motors. All effort to reach you and Moses prove abortive. Please pay up sir.”

Responding to the development, Melaye in a short statement issued via his Facebook page, described the development as a ‘publicity stunt’, adding that he will be suing the company.

“No, be only a unique motor! If l am really owing you, you know what to do. Abi na social media you sell the imaginary car?”

“All of una wey dey use my name promote your obscure Business…God knows una address ooo. But for this unique nonsense, my lawyers go reach you. You dial trouble,” he wrote.

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Gunmen Abduct Four Chinese Expatriates, Kill Police Inspector In Ogun

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Unknown gunmen on Wednesday afternoon abducted four male Chinese expatriates working with the Federal Government’s railway project in Odeda local government area of Ogun State.

Numbering about eight and all clad in a black kaftan, the gunmen allegedly invaded Adeaga/Alaagba village, site of the railway project in Odeda local government area around 6 pm where they shot a Police Inspector dead before succeeding in the abduction of the Chinese expatriates handling the Ibadan-Lagos standard gauge railway project.

An eye witness at Alaagba village said that the abductors seized their victims immediately after disarming the security men attached to them and they headed straight to the forest with their captives.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP, the community leader and Baale of Alaagba village, Chief Adekunle Olabamiji, said residents of the rustic border community between Ogun and Oyo state had earlier in the afternoon, observed the presence of some fierce-looking gunmen in the village.

LEADERSHIP further gathered that members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) later in the night launched an unsuccessful hunt for the kidnappers, combing the entire bush in an attempt to possibly apprehend the kidnappers and rescue the victims.

When contacted, Ogun State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Abimbola Oyeyemi, who confirmed the abduction, said the command has dispatched a team of the special tactical unit to roads and forest in Odeda LGA of the State in search of four Chinese workers

Oyeyemi, who expressed the optimism that the Chinese expatriates would be rescued unhurt, further explained that primary investigation clearly confirmed that victims were initially ambushed at the construction site prior to the incident.

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