By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
The lawmaker representing Oyo Central Senatorial District and All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the state, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has slammed a N10 billion suit against The Cable Newspaper, over alleged “defamatory publication.”
A letter written and addressed to The Cable by A.T. Adebayo Esq., on behalf of Abiodun Adebayo & Co, the representatives of Folarin, on Monday, stated that the medium decided to feed its readers with lies and falsehood for reasons best known it.
Adebayo also said that the publication “is calculated to demean, malign and downgrade the person of our client in the mind of ordinary members of the society for no reason other than for monetary gain and publicity which your stable currently lacks.”
The Cable had in an online report, titled,’ Why Top Politician, Teslim Folarin took AGF Malami’s sister as new wife,’ published on Monday, June 13, said that governorship candidate had taken the sister of Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as his new wife.
In the publication, the medium wrote: “Tragic as her death is, her widower, Senator Folarin seems to have put it behind him and moved on with his life and, as sources say, has also moved on to a new bride. Those who know say Folarin has found love in one of the Sisters of the Minister for Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubaka Malami.
“Though the youngest Minister appointed by President Muhamadu Buhari in 2015 (he was 48 then), Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is regarded as an influential member of the cabal around the president. The very minister has a stronghold on the president having served as legal adviser to the Congress for Progressive change on which platform President Buhari ran for Presidency and failed in 2011. Folarin’s eagerness to quickly settle down with his sister is, thus, understandable.”
“Luckily for him, the dividends have started rolling in as Folarin vied for and won the All Progressives Congress APC, gubernatorial ticket in Oyo State. Bayo Adelabu who flew the party’s flag in the 2019 election angrily left the party, complaining that he was muscled out by Folarin, the new power block in Oyo State Politics.”
But Adebayo said that there was no iota of truth in the online publication as it concerned the Senator, his family and political associates.
“You would recall that Senator Folarin has been a super politician for a long time and he enjoys large support base which he can conveniently rely on at anytime for his political aspiration. He did not need the patronage and or the influence of anyone before he achieved politically.
“By your publication, you have widely circulated falsehood because our client is not married to the sister of AGF Malami and or any other woman as the demise of his beloved wife is still fresh in his mind.
“There is no denying the fact that Mr. Malami, SAN, is a Minister to President of the Federal Republic, the only relationship that our client enjoys with him is like every other politician while the AGF does not concern himself with politics and did not at any anytime influence any action in favour of our client.
“It is for your stable to supply the general public the source of your information about the purported marriage, our client is not eager to settle down with any woman and has not projected himself as doing such.
“The feat recorded by our client at the last APC primary which produced him as the candidate of the Party in Oyo State was a product of hardwork, teamwork, goodwill and God’s mercies as against your insinuation that it was a product of his relationship with the Honourable Attorney General of Federation.
“There is no doubt that your publication is calculated to demean, malign and downgrade the person of our client in the mind of ordinary members of the society for no reason other than for monetary gain and publicity which your stable currently lacks.
“The entire contents of your publication was targeted at our client and to say the least, highly defamatory. Pointedly, you maliciously caused the online publication knowing full well same was false but with the intention to rubbish our client’s reputation as a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As at the time of writing this piece, you would agree with us that your publication had enjoyed wide circulation throughout the Country and around the world through internet and other social media platforms whereof numerous well-wishers have been inundating our client with telephone calls, messages, and emails for the purpose of confirming the veracity or otherwise of your story.
“What is more, our client could no longer concentrate on his assignment becuase your malicious publication has portrayed him in bad light and as an object of ridicule, opprobrium, scorn and tears by all and sundry. The damaging effects of your said publication are just too profound and far reaching,” Adebayo said.
The lawyer noted that to assuage Folarin’s already battered feelings, the medium should publish:
“An immediate retraction of your said online publication of 13 June, 2022 titled as stated above within 7 days of the receipt of this correspondence which retraction must be published in 3 (three) different National dailies for three days consecutively.
“The National Papers recommended for it are:
a) The Nigeria Tribune
b) The Punch c) The Nation
“A written undertaking not to engage in such unprofessional conduct in the future.
“The sum of Ten billion Naira (N10, 000,000,000.00) being damages for the negative effects of your publication on our client.”
Adebayo added that if the medium fail, refuse, or neglect to yield to the requests within seven days, he will institute a legal action against it at the law court.