The former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has threatened to sue the Minister of Transportion, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, his comments on ChannelTV on two billion naira allegedly transferred by the former governor of Rivers state, Dr. Peter Odili to the Ministry of Aviation to fix Port-Harcourt runway.
Fani-Kayode through his lawyers on Monday demanded apology and N5billion as damages saying that Amaechi disparaged Fani-Kayode by ‘his remarks, in the eyes of right thinking members of the society; and these remarks have been found to be false and slanderous.’
Read full letter by Fani-Kayode’s lawyers
1st May, 2017,
Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi,
Hon. Minister of Transportation
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Federal Ministry of Transportation Complex
Re: Defamation of Chief Femi Kani-Kayode by Hon. Rotimi Amaechi in an interview with the Channels TV
Our representation is for Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, in respect of the aforedescribed occasion.
It has come to our notice that you granted an interview with Channels TV on Thursday the 27th of April 2017. In that infamous interview which was broadcast throughout Nigeria and the United Kingdom, including postings and references to same in myriad of social media platforms, you made some serious remarks and allegations against our Client, with respect to the role he played while serving as Minister of Aviation n 2007. You particularly alleged that our Client failed to repair the Port Harcourt Airport Runway, but “he ran away with the sum of Two Billion Naira which was transferred for that purpose to the Ministry of Aviation, by the Rivers State government, under the administration of the erstwhile Governor Peter Odili.
In addition to the above, by an emphatic and hysterical outburst, you unwittingly reiterated this obnoxious remark, despite an intervention by the moderator to guide you into caution, a tailored comment and an adjustment of the unguarded utterances. Apart from the fact that there is no modicum of truth in the wild and unsubstantiated remark, it is on a verifiable record that Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, was contracted for the Asphalt Resurfacing of the said Port Harcourt Airport Runway. Beyond that, the project was concluded within 7 months of our Client’s occupation of the office as Minister of Aviation, and the completion exercise was commissioned by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. All these pieces of information are in the public domain and overtly to your knowledge.
For malicious and malevolent reasons, you however elected to misrepresent our Client in the public glare, by deliberating infusing false, dishonest and untrue comments about him into the minds of right thinking members of the society. More worrisome is the fact that you were conscious of this falsehood, in consequence of which you systematically and intentionally failed to admit yourself to caution, but resolved to pollute the media stream for unsuspecting person to drink of this fabrication, which was actuated by bad faith, reprisal and dishonourable intentions. Without mincing words, you have disparaged our Client by your remarks, in the eyes of right thinking members of the society; and these remarks have been found to be false and slanderous of him.
Our brief is to intimate you of this grievances character breach on the person of our Client and his hard earned reputation. Our Client has not only suffered the loss of good will, but has now been subjected to opprobrium by his fans, followers an business associates. Being conscious of his rights, both in law and equity, our Client is minded to afford you an opportunity to undo the evil you have done, by retracting the said insalubrious remarks on the same Channels TV, and apologising to him, both on Channels TV and two other National Dailies. You are also advised to enter into negotiations with us for the sum of Five Billion Naira, being a token amount for penitence, as opposed to the magnitude of infraction caused to our Client’s nobility.
It is imperative to bear in mind that you have 14 years from receipt of this letter to comply with the highlighted mitigating measures, the failure of which will leave our Client with no preferred alternative than to seek redress in Court, the said redress which shall also include a claim that you are unfit to continue to hold the office of Minister of Transportation, because your defamatory and slanderous remarks were borne out of an inept appreciation of basic workings and operations of the Aviation Sector,
Accept our professional regards.
Wale Balogun, Esq.