Minister Of Youth And Sports Development, Sunday Dare Threatens To Sue Sahara Reporters For N5b




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Mr Sunday Dare, The Minister Youth and Sports Development has threatened to file a lawsuit against online news agency, Sahara Reporters and demand N5 billion for libel.

Dare’s lawyer, Bayo Ayenakin, wrote that the online news medium “alleged and stated that our client while serving as the Executive Commissioner the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) participated in shady and corrupt deals by awarding contract to himself and a number of other persons as contained in your false publication.

“You spuriously alleged that our client single-handedly awarded contracts to himself and several other persons while serving as Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) thereby insinuating that our client is corrupt and that he corruptly enriched himself and the other persons you mentioned.”

Thus, Dare, as Ayenakin wrote further, asked the online medium to pull down the story, otherwise, “we have the instruction our client to institute a civil action against your organization and its principal officers for defamation, and we shall be asking for aggravated damages against your establishment and its principal officers to the tune of N5 billion only.”

Below is the letter that was written by Dare’s lawyer:

Ref: BAC/118/21 Date: 22nd September 2021.

‘BANJO AYENAKIN & CO.

Legal Practitioners & Notaries Public

Kings’ Chambers:

21, Adekunle Ajasin Road,

Before Shoprite Roundabout,

Alagbaka GRA, Akure, Ondo State

HQs. Greater New York Area, East Coast, North Eastern USA.

Dear Editor,

LETTER DEMAND AND PRE-ACTION NOTICE

We are solicitors to HON. SUNDAY DARE the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Federal Secretariat, Abuja who is herein referred to as ‘our client’ and on whose behalf this letter is written to you.

Our client is the Honorable Minister in charge the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Abuja, Nigeria and as an occupant of this position, our client has demonstrated glaring and sterling qualities of honesty, probity, fidelity and forthrightness in his current as well as erstwhile position; to the admiration of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Nigerians at large.
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In your publication September 20th, 2021; you alleged and stated that our client while serving as the Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) participated in shady and corrupt deals by awarding contracts to himself and a number of other persons as contained in your false publication.

You spuriously alleged that our client single-handedly awarded contracts to himself and several other persons while serving as Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) thereby insinuating that our client is corrupt and that he corruptly enriched himself and the other persons you mentioned.

For the umpteenth time, it is pertinent to state that during the time our client served as the Executive Commissioner the Nigeria Communication Commission, he did not award any such contract to anybody or himself as falsely alleged in your publication. The Nigerian Communication Commission has an Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, a Management Board and a Governing Board vested with the powers to approve or award licenses and contracts as the case may be. You also falsely and deliberately alleged that our client approved contract awards when in actual fact he had no such powers when he was at the NCC and also in this case no contracts were awarded, rather only licenses were issued to Nigerians who applied. The NCC in exercising its regulatory powers under the law issued the licenses upon the approval of the Governing Board.

The Management Board of the Nigerian Communication Commission only granted licenses on Value Added Contract to deserving persons and no contract of any sort whatsoever was awarded in relation to this as falsely, maliciously and spuriously alleged by you. Also, our client was not awarded any contract neither was he issued with a VAS license as alleged in your false and misleading publication.

Your publication of September 20, 2021, is a deliberate falsehood with malevolent intent and same is disparaging and malicious to the person of our client.

The story you published titled “Exclusive: How Buhari’s Minister Awarded Multi-Billion Naira Contracts to Self, Ex-Governor Tinubu, others as Executive’ is riddled with factual inaccuracies, malevolent intent, and outright malice all aimed at damaging the credibility of our client.

The publication has caused a lot of damage to our client’s hard-earned reputation which he has painstakingly and carefully built over a long period as different people have inundated him with sporadic calls over your false and unfounded allegations which is libellous and has irreparably dented our client’s image and reputation.

Moreover, your publication has portrayed our client as a corrupt, unreliable and undisciplined public officer who corruptly enriched himself and flagrantly flouted government regulations and this has exposed our client to public odium and ignominy.

You are hereby advised to pull down the publication within twenty-four hours of the receipt of this letter with a retraction duly published as a follow-up.

TAKE NOTICE that if you fail, refuse or neglect to so do, we have the instruction of our client to institute a civil action against your organization and its principal officers for defamation, and we shall be asking for aggravated damages against your establishment and its principal officers to the tune of Five Billion Naira only.

We trust you will act with dispatch, while assuring you of our professional regards.Your faithfully,

Olabanjo Ayenakin, Esq.

Your faithfully,

Olabanjo Ayenakin, Esq.

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