In the aftermath of the declaration by Bianca Ojukwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, that she was unsatisfied with the apology issued by the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, the latter has decided to take a belligerent position.
Mr. Fani-Kayode, in a statement by his Personal Assistant, Tosin Emmanuel, said that he welcomes “whatever course of action” Mrs. Ojukwu’s lawyer intends to pursue.
The former minister also said that he would institute his own legal proceedings against the widow of the late Biafran warlord “for her barefaced and malicious lies and consistent claim” that she has never met him.
After claiming, in his controversial piece ‘A Word For Those Who Call Me A Tribalist’ that he had had a “long-standing and intimate relationship” with Mrs. Ojukwu while she was unmarried; Mr. Fani-Kayode Thursday, withdrew the comment.
Mr. Fani-Kayode had also extended his ‘retraction’ to Adaobi Uchegbu and Chioma Anasoh, the two other ladies he mentioned in his article.
But Mrs. Ojukwu, in her response, stated that Mr. Fani-Kayode’s statement “falls far short of an apology and retraction.”
“Whilst it is important to reiterate that Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu has never met Chief Femi Kayode and does not know him in person, it is pertinent to note that the statement issued through Mr Akinola Babatunde Rotimi, falls far short of an apology and retraction of Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s false and libelous outbursts and is merely a desperate attempt to lend credence to fabrications, which he seeks to present as reality with intent to gloss over the very serious issues arising from the reckless publication,” Mrs. Ojukwu said in a statement by her Personal Assistant, Isaac Igboanu.
“In the circumstances, Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu is left with no option than to leave the matter in the hands of her lawyers,” she added.
The former beauty queen’s reply angered Mr. Fani-Kayode who responded, on Monday, with a tersely worded statement saying that Mrs. Ojukwu’s demeanour indicates that she is desperate to go to war over the issue as well as cover up “the truth about their past.”
“We really do wonder what Mrs. Ojukwu really wants from Chief Fani-Kayode and what her agenda really is?
“Throughout this matter Chief Fani-Kayode has chosen the path of peace and has attempted to avoid an ugly and public quarrel with Bianca Ojukwu out of respect to the memory of her late father Chief C.C. Onoh and the memory of her late husband, Dim Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
The ex-minister stated that despite “bending over backwards” to publicly withdraw his comments in several national and online newspapers, Mrs. Ojukwu has refused to be appeased.
“This is sad and unfortunate and it is beyond the imagination of anyone that a serving Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria would so readily and so easily be given to telling such lies.
“Chief Fani-Kayode is not comfortable with publicly joining issues with ladies when it comes to matters of a private nature such as this because he was well brought up and he is a gentleman but it is clear that Bianca Ojukwu is desperate to go to war over this issue and to cover up the truth about their past,” said Mr. Fani-Kayode.
“It is also clear that she has constituted herself into the arrowhead of a group of people that are determined to use her and this whole unsavoury episode to attempt to distract attention from the wider and more important issues raised in the essay and to discredit him.
“Since that is the case we welcome whatever action Ojukwu wishes to take in court and we shall gladly meet her there.
“We will also be instigating our own legal proceedings against her in due course for her barefaced and malicious lies and her consistent claim that she has never met Chief Fani-Kayode all in an attempt to libel, defame, diminish and discredit him before the entire world,” he added.
Mr. Fani-Kayode reiterated that not only did he have a relationship with Mrs. Ojukwu, but that he “knew her far better than she cares to publicly admit.”
“The precise nature of that relationship will be explored and exposed in open court,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
“It is not in the nature of Chief Fani-Kayode to fight unnecessary and distractive battles over flippant matters such as this but on this occasion he has been compelled to do so simply because he will do whatever it takes to protect his integrity and establish the fact that he has told no lie.
“Since she has continued her shameless perfidy and wishes to tread the path of deceit and confrontation then so be it.
“Finally let it be clearly understood that at no point did Chief Fani-Kayode lie about the nature of his relationship with Ojukwu. However he did not feel that it was appropriate or necessary to share the details of that relationship with the public because he felt that such matters were strictly private.
“The fact that she mistook his mature exercise of restraint and discretion, even when provoked and insulted, his desire for peace and his gentlemanly nature for weakness is not only unfortunate but also a grave miscalculation on her part.
“Once again we reiterate the fact that we counsel Ojukwu to take whatever course of action she pleases and we welcome this opportunity to expose her for what she is.
“The matter has been referred to our lawyers for final preparation. They will prepare a vigorous defence to Ojukwu’s absurd allegations and they will also determine our next line of action against her,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
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