Lagos Assembly Speaker threatens Sowore with N1bn defamation suit

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L-R, Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Obasa, and Sowore

Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, has, through his lawyer, Lawal Pedro, written a pre-litigation letter to Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of online news medium, SaharaReporters, over an alleged defamatory report.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria, in his April 30 letter, claimed that SaharaReporters maligned his client through a publication titled, ‘Exposed: Speaker of Lagos Assembly, Obasa, awards contracts to self through a company registered in son’s name.’

Pedro described as absurd, abusive and malicious the claims that Obasa awarded contracts to himself through companies registered in the names of his father, wife and children.

He contended that none of the firms mentioned by the publication had ever been engaged or awarded any contract by the lawmaker.

He demanded that Sowore retracted the story within seven days and apologise or face a N1bn defamation lawsuit.

The letter, titled, ‘Demand for retraction of defamatory statements published against and concerning the person of Rt. Hon, Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa and apology for the publication, read in part, “Upon our discreet inquiry, we were able to confirm that the House of Assembly has never at any time engaged or awarded any contract to any of the listed companies in the publication.

“Therefore, we find the publication utterly absurd, abusive, malicious and amount to irresponsible journalism to deliberately tarnish the image of the Rt. Honourable Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.”

Pedro said although the lawmaker had already denied the report on social media platforms, the online medium repeated the claims elsewhere.