Sir: What’s quaking the airwaves now is former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode’s threat to sue the Daily Trust for defamation of character. He said the medium should pay N6bn and apologise for sullying his good image in a caustic piece it published in backing its reporter, Mr. Eyo Charles, he had tongue-lashed for throwing what he called a mischievous question at him in Cross River.
The ex-minister’s threat came after the medium made it public that the piece titled, “FFK: The Drug Addled Thug In Designer Wears,” shouldn’t be credited to it. It said it was written by one Mr. Iliyasu Gadu. Gadu’s piece, no doubt, would thrill those who were irked by FFK’s outburst. Whereas, it didn’t go down well with some. To them, the writer had gone too far by calling him a drug addict with unsuccessful medical outings.
If Iliyasu Gadu had criticised him as many of his critics did for describing the hapless journo as ‘very stupid’ for asking him who was bankrolling his trips to the states he had been touring since July in a press briefing turned a bedlam in Cross River, he wouldn’t have threatened to sue the Daily Trust. But that he was called a drug addict with a fruitless medical trip to Ghana left him in perpetual pains.
However, not until recently, I used to think Mr Fani-Kayode didn’t know the meaning of libel, slander, and incendiary statements. FFK, who had on several occasions libeled and slandered others, is now threatening to sue a medium because it published a piece, which described him as a “Drug Adduled Thug In Designer Wears.”
Three months ago FFK vilified President Muhammadu Buhari. He said he had come to steal, kill, and widen his religion and ethnicity in the country. Later, he attacked Bola Ahmed Tinubu too. He described him as a drug addict who slurs when he talks. Today, he’s threatening the Daily Trust because it published a story where he was called the same thing he called Tinubu. I’ve lost the number of times he had made incendiary statements this year. Still, no one has threatened to sue him for his vicious utterances.
Besides, Mr. Iliyasu Gadu wasn’t the first nor the second person to call him a drug addict. President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant, Lauretta Onochie, had called him ‘Nigeria’s foremost drug addict’ few months ago for requesting for the identity of the Italian man who brought COVID-19 to Nigeria. In 2015, his former colleague, Chief Adaobi Kate Uchegbu, called him a drug addict. If he couldn’t sue these persons, suing the Daily Trust for a sin a casual writer committed is needless and unnecessary.
Aremu Lukman Umor, wrote from Lagos.