By Betty Akota
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has threatened to sue Human Rights Radio and demand ten billions Naira (N10, 000, 000, 000.00) damages for defamation.
The threat to sue the radio came Thursday after the owner of the radio and presenter of popular programme Berekete Family alleged that the Minister collected N200 million naira from Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, when he assumed office.
In a letter to the Human Rights Radio, Mr. Ahmed Isah, the Minister through his lawyers asked him to retract his unfounded accusations against the and apologise within seven days or face a civil suit of N10, 000, 000, 000.00 in damages.
This was contained in a letter dated Thursday, December 12, 2019, sent by the Minister’s lawyers, Okechukwu C. Uju-Azorji, Esq. and Festus Ukpe, Esq.
The letter was titled “DEMAND TO RETRACT BRIBERY ALLEGATION PUBLISHED AGAINST THE PERSON OF MR. SUNDAY DARE AND TO CEASE FROM MAKING ANY FURTHER DEFAMATORY PUBLICATIONS AGAINST HIM.”
It reads in part: ‘Our attention has been drawn to a programme popularly known as “Brekete Family Programme” aired on your station on the mornings of 11th &12th December, 2019. In the course of the said programme, you made defamatory statements against our client. Specifically, on 11th December, 2019, in the course of the said programme, you made the following statement:
“Any minister wey just land, the first thing wey this people go do na to give you 200 million naira. So if it be say this Dare don collect 200 million naira, if no be so why him no put mouth”
Additionally, on 12th December, 2019, in the course of the programme, you also made the following statement:
“As soon as dem appoint you minister, dem dey give the person 200 million naira so wetin me I dey suspect be say, no be say this present minister of sports no get the capacity, e be like say monkey hand don resemble human being hand, maybe he collect the 200 million naira and him neck don dey deep, if he try to dig, maybe him leg go show.”
We have our client’s instructions to demand an unreserved apology and a retraction of the defamatory publication in favour of our client to be broadcast in your programme and published in two (2) newspapers with nationwide coverage within seven (7) days of your receipt of this letter. Kindly note that in the event that you refuse to comply with the above requests, we will be left with no options than to seek redress for our client through the instrumentality of the judicial process and thereby seek injunctive reliefs and Ten Billion Naira (N10,000,000,000.00) in damages for the embarrassment which your publication has occasioned our client.’
It is unclear if the recipient has responded to the letter.