Governor Amosun of Ogun says the newspaper owned by the former governor set out to malign his character.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on Thursday said it has concluded arrangements to drag Compass Newspapers to court for libel.
The newspaper, owned by his predecessor, Gbenga Daniel, had in its Thursday, August 9, 2012 edition, reported that Mr. Amosun spent N26million in a chartered flight to Saudi Arabia.
The publication further said that the governor was accompanied on the holy pilgrimage by an array of his aides and that an advanced team departed Nigeria to Saudi Arabia about three days before his arrival.
However, addressing a press conference, Ogun State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Yusuf Olaniyonu, said the report was meant to malign the person and character of the governor.
He denied that the governor spent so much or that he took a chartered flight. The commissioner claimed that Governor Amosun travelled on a commercial flight, adding that there are records of the flight details.
Mr. Olaniyonu, who showed newsmen the commercial flight ticket and schedule, further said that a legal action is to be taken against the newspaper.
The commissioner explained that, the decision to drag Compass Newspaper to court was as a result of its failure to retract the publication after seven days of notification to do so.
In view of this, he said the law firm of Lateef Fagbemi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has been contacted and have written to the management of Compass Newspaper.
Mr. Amosun’s lawyers have demanded Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000.00) as damages “for the injury to our client’s person, character and reputation”.
“It needs to be stated that there is no iota of truth in this libelous publication as the story is totally wrong and misleading from the beginning to the end.
“The implication of the publication and the motive are to present our client to the good people of Ogun State in particular and Nigerians in general as a wasteful and corrupt person who is not worthy of occupying the position he presently holds,” the governor’s lawyers said.