Mr. Fani-Kayode says the APC spokesperson has seven days to retract his comments.
A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, has fired the first salvo in a series of threats and counter-threats of legal action between the ex-minister and Lai Mohammed, the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress, APC, giving Mr. Mohammed a seven-day ultimatum to apologize to him.
In a letter titled “Libel Publication Against Chief Femi Fani Kayode Published in Vanguard Newspaper of the 30th of June 2014”, addressed to Mr. Mohammed, Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer demanded an immediate retraction of a publication by the APC spokesperson, in three national newspapers approved by the former minister himself.
The letter, dated 7th July, 2014, also demanded that the retraction contain “an unreserved apology” to Mr. Fani-Kayode, offer for damages, and a seven day ultimatum to carry out the demands.
“It will amount to a serious gamble if you treat this letter with levity, but if you so decide to do, the gamble is clearly yours,” said the letter signed by Nnenna Makwe, on behalf of Ahmed Raji and Co.
Mr. Fani-Kayode has, in the last one week, been locked in an exchange of brickbats with the APC spokesperson, culminating in the latter describing the former as “a pathological liar and a shameless coward.”
It began last Monday when the former minister, during an interview on Channels Television, described Boko Haram as the armed wing of the opposition APC, a reason, he claimed, made the party to be sympathetic of the terrorist group.
But the APC had responded swiftly in a statement, denying the claims and threatened a court action against Mr. Fani-Kayode.
The party said Mr. Fani-Kayode, himself a former member of the APC, may have made the comments to curry favour from the government to withdraw corruption charges against the former minister.
“It is common knowledge that Mr. Fani-Kayode has been charged by the Federal Government with money laundering. The trial is almost ending, and he knows he faces a certain jail term if convicted,” Mr. Mohammed had said in a statement.
“It is therefore not impossible that Mr. Fani-Kayode may be seeking to ingratiate himself to the FG by using various media platforms to destroy the APC through accusing its leaders of being Boko Haram sponsors or that the party is bent on fielding a Muslim/Muslim ticket in next year’s presidential elections.
”Unfortunately, in his eagerness to please the FG and cut a deal to avoid going to jail, he has resorted to pathological lies aimed at calling the dog a bad name in order to hang it. Whatever evidence he has to prove that our party is a sponsor of Boko Haram, he should be prepared to tender such in court,” he had added.
Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer said the APC’s statement defamed his client and “lowered his estimation in the opinion of right thinking members of the society.”
“Our Client has informed us that there is no iota of truth in any of the insinuations and innuendos contained in your publication reproduced above,” read the letter.
“Needless to say that since the publication, our Client has been bombarded with numerous enquiries from all over the world and he has since been put under severe pressure of explaining himself,” it added.