NewsWireNGR Blog Quakes Under Pastor Tunde Bakare’s Libel Suit [Download Document]

NewsWireNGR Blog Quakes Under Pastor Tunde Bakare’s Libel Suit [Download Document]


A blog know has NewsWireNGR is presently facing a massive storm following threat by Pastor Tunde Bakare of the LatterRain Assembly to sue the site for malicious publication.

The blog had on 9 February, published an article claiming Pastor Tunde disparaged the All Progressive Congress (APC). The article quoted in a letter by solicitors to Pastor Tunde, Tope AdebayoLLP and seen by The Paradigm, said that “Pastor Tunde Bakare, a fierce critic of the Nigerian government and the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly has likened the leading opposition party, All Progressives Congress to the Church of Satan in a parable.

In his sermon to the church congregation, the former Vice Presidential candidate under the Congress for Progressive Change, urged Nigerians to be wary of the coming together of the APC members whom he described as “Pen Robbers”.

He said “APC is like a newly opened church of Satan with the evil as a Pastor which could not be distinguished by Nigerians from a true living Godly Church and hence could be mistaken for a real Church, even when it was made of thieves (Legitimate Pen Robbers).

Bakare who contested the last elections with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari said the governors of the opposition party ganged up against Local Government fiscal Autonomy using crumbs from stolen accumulated wealth to bribe their thievery colleagues at Federal and State house of Assembly.

He said, “It is very clear that 5 Governors of APC in the west is far richer than their state and they have looted every penny from their state purse. People should be careful of this Rogues’.

But is a strongly worded letter sent to the blog, Pastor Tunde solitictors said that the aforestated publication has grossly lowered the reputation of their client in the estimation of right-thinking members of the Nigerian society and the world in general.

It continued: “It has equally exposed our client, to public odium and ridicule. Our client has been inundated with calls and text messages by friends and associates who are perturbed by the publication.

“Much as our constitution recognizes freedom of speech and opinion, the freedom is circumscribed to the extent that a person is entitled under our laws to right to good name. Needless to state that the law places high premium on the reputation of an individual and it is against this backdrop that the law seeks to protect and safeguard the reputation of an individual which, as in often cases, is hardearned.

The solicitors thereafter demanded that NewsWireNGR forthwith tow the part of honour by retracting the publication and apologizing to our client on your blog.

Meanwhile, Dia Zamani, the blog editor has said they ivestigated the story and found to their disappointment, and regret, that their platform was misled by the correspondent who filed the report from Lagos.

He said: “We asked him for explanation, and he admitted that he was not present where the purported comments were made. He said he was informed of the comments by another journalist.

“We regret this unfortunate development. We hold Pastor Tunde Bakare in high esteem and did not deliberately set out to defame or embarrass him.

“We have activated an internal disciplinary process over this matter. And we sincerely apologise to Pastor Bakare.

“We will retract the story and will publish this apology on our website.

“As a result of this incident, we are reviewing our gatekeeping process with a view to ensuring that a more rigorous scrutiny are done before stories are published.

“We like to assure Pastor Bakare and all our readers that at newswirengr our focus remains reporting the news truthfully and objectively and in a way that helps our readers to make informed decisions.

Find content of the letter sent by Pastor Tunde Bakare’s lawyer to the blog below:

Download DEMAND FOR A RETRACTION AND APOLOGY

12.02.2014.

The Editor

http://newswirengr.com

LIBELOUS PUBLICATION AND INJURIOUS FALSEHOOD OF AND CONCERNING PASTOR TUNDE
BAKARE: DEMAND FOR A RETRACTION AND APOLOGY

We are Solicitors to Pastor Tunde Bakare, the serving overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly an end time church based in Lagos and having a worldwide reach, a Legal Practitioner and the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (hereinafter referred to as “our client”) on whose definite and express instruction we write you in the manner following.

BACKGROUND
Our instruction is that on the 9 February, 2014 you published or caused to be published on your online blog (http://newswirengr.com) that our client disparaged the All Progressive Congress (APC) and some of its Governors in the following words, viz “Pastor Tunde Bakare, a fierce critic of the Nigerian government and the General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly has likened the leading opposition party, All Progressives Congress to the Church of Satan in a parable.

In his sermon to the church congregation, the former Vice Presidential candidate under the Congress for Progressive Change, urged Nigerians to be wary of the coming together of the APC members whom he described as “Pen Robbers”.

He said “APC is like a newly opened church of Satan with the evil as a Pastor which could not be distinguished by Nigerians from a true living Godly Church and hence could be mistaken for a real Church, even when it was made of thieves (Legitimate Pen Robbers).

Bakare who contested the last elections with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari said the governors of the opposition party ganged up against Local Government fiscal Autonomy using crumbs from stolen accumulated wealth to bribe their thievery colleagues at Federal and State house of Assembly.

He said, “It is very clear that 5 Governors of APC in the west is far richer than their state and they have looted every penny from their state purse. People should be careful of this Rogues’.

The publication was made of and concerning the person of our client. The alleged statement you credited to have been made by our client was not at any time made by our client or at all.

Your publication which has been shared on other online news platforms and social medias has no shred of truth. It is malicious, offensive and intended to disparage our client and cause him embarrassment and public condemnation. It is also intended to make our client lose the confidence of informed Nigerians who are undaunted in their solidarity to democracy in Nigeria. You represented our Client
as having insinuated that the members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) are evil people and a group of bandits whose sole mission is to loot the state treasury.

Your publication depicted our client as one who likes stirring up controversies by pulling down others.

OUR PETITION
The aforestated publication has grossly lowered the reputation of our client in the estimation of right-thinking members of the Nigerian society and the world in general. It has equally exposed our client, to public odium and ridicule. Our client has been inundated with calls and text messages by friends and associates who are perturbed by the publication.

Our client has consistently built his political and personal life around Biblical truth and the philosophy that espouses peaceful approach to social and political change.

He has never hidden from speaking the truth and has always been in the forefront of the fight against injustice and bad governance in Nigeria.

Much as our constitution recognizes freedom of speech and opinion, the freedom is circumscribed to the extent that a person is entitled under our laws to right to good name. Needless to state that the law places high premium on the reputation of an individual and it is against this backdrop that the law seeks to protect and safeguard the reputation of an individual which, as in often cases, is hardearned.

OUR DEMAND
We DEMAND that you forthwith tow the part of honour by retracting the publication and apologizing to our client on your blog.

TAKE NOTICE that in the event that you fail, neglect or refuse to comply with the above demand within seven (7) days of receipt of this letter, we will have no alternative but to explore the attendant instruction of our client to immediately commence legal action against you for torts of defamation and injurious falsehood, without further recourse to you.

IT IS IN OUR MUTUAL INTEREST IF YOU ALLOW WISE COUNSEL TO PREVAIL.

Yours faithfully,

For: TOPE ADEBAYO LLP
FERDINARD OLUFEMI

CC: MALLAM NASIR EL-RUFAI

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