The Directorate of Citizens Rights (DCR) at the Ekiti State Ministry of Justice has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nigerian chef, Damilola Adeparusi, popularly known as Chef Dammy, against a pastor, Jeremiah Adegoke, and the Ekiti State Police Command, at the Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti, for rights infringement.
The DCR also asked the court to restrain Mr Adegoke and the police from arresting Chef Dammy and that a N10 million compensation be paid for aggravated damages to the chef who rose to the limelight after her failed attempt to break a Guinness World Record.
The lawsuit was filed barely a week after Chef Dammy was reportedly arrested on the order of Mr Adegoke, who was her pastor.
Mr Adegoke is the head pastor of Spirit Word Global Mission, an Ekiti-based church which reportedly sponsored Chef Dammy’s recording-making cook-a-thon.
The controversy between Chef Dammy and her pastor started in October, after the 24-year-old raised alarm over alleged relentless threats and intimidation from individuals whom she tagged “people of God” and her pastor.
The 300-level Mass Communication student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), said that she had been threatened and bullied, leaving her living in constant fear for her life.
Although the exact bone of contention between the chef and her once-supportive pastor is not clear, their dispute appears to have been a fallout of the failed cook-a-thon.
Following Chef Dammy’s public outcry, Mr Agegoke, in a letter signed by his lawyers, Bisayo Sule & Co Legal Practitioners, dated 23 October 2023. The pastor demanded a retraction of the alleged defamatory statement on social media, an apology on two widely read national dailies and payment of a sum of N22 million for damages.
He gave Chef Dammy seven days to comply with the demands or risk being sued.
However, in the suit filed by DCR on 24 November, Chef Dammy was named as the applicant, Mr Adegoke and Ajewole Samuel, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 17 Akure, were named respondents.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the continued harassment, molestation, threat of arrest, and intimidation by the pastor, allied with Mr Samuel and the Nigerian police, infringes on the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
The lawsuit further demands a restraining order preventing Chef Dammy’s arrest and seeks a compensation of N10 million for aggravation and damages.
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