Raymond Dokpesi, the founder of Daar Communications has written a pre-litigation letter to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed for including his name on the list of alleged looters which Mohammed recently released to the public.
In the pre-litigation dated April 4, 2018, Dokpesi, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said Mohammed defamed him by stating on the list that he (Dokpesi) looted N2.1bn.
Ozekhome contended that contrary to Mohammed’s “derogatory, disparaging, mendacious and unrestrained defamatory statement as published in various print, electronic and online media platforms, our client (Dokpesi) has never been associated with looting of public treasury.” Ozekhome said Dokpesi had denied the “trumped-up charges” which the Federal Government filed against him. He said Mohammed had with his “brazen defamatory statements clearly rubbished the hard-earned reputation of our client,” adding that Dokpesi had been bombarded with phone calls, mails and visits by his friends and well-wishers since Mohammed released the looters’ list.
He said, “Our client has suffered severe odium, opprobrium, ridicule, psychological trauma, untold embarrassment and countless business loses consequent upon your reckless publication, which has put him in a bad light before reasonable members of the society.” He, therefore, demanded an apology to be published in four national dailies – The PUNCH, ThisDay, The Nation and the The Sun Newspapers.
He also demanded payment of N500m to redress “the incalculable damage done to our client’s hard-earned image and reputation.” Ozekhome said if Mohammed failed to meet his client’s demands, he would head for court, stressing that “a stitch in time saves nine.”