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The popular land seller and politician, Alhaji Waheed Olatunji has accused popular Islamic scholar, Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold of enmeshing his good image on Fresh FM radio in Ibadan.

9Janewshub.com.ng reports that Akeugbagold who is the anchor of “Egbani Elaja” on Fresh FM, Ibadan which settled disputes has accused Olatunji of using police and thugs to harass people to claim and grab their lands.

In the program which was first heard on the radio program on Sunday, 15th May 2022, his accusers were invited to the radio program but in the middle of the program, Olatunji dashed in and protest an attempt to smear his good image but he was shouted out of the studio.

All efforts to reach Akewugbagold by reporters proved abortive as the Islamic scholar neither pick the calls nor reply messages.

Olatunji’s lawyer subsequently wrote a letter to Akeugbagold dated May 17, 2022 demanding public apology and a sum of N50 Million compensation as against N500 Million mentioned on the radio program, the following week.

Excerpts of the letter which is titled “Slanderous utterances of and concerning our client on your radio programme entitled ” Egbani Elaja” on Fresh 105.9 FM, Ibadan, and which was copied to the Director General, National Broadcasting Commission, Garki, FCT, Abuja, reads: “we are Solicitors to Alhaji Waheed Olatunji, hereinafter referred to as “our Client” and on whose unequivocal express instructions write on the above subject matter.

“It is our instructions that sometimes on 15th May 2022 , our client was inundated with numerous telephone calls from several members of his family, friends and business associates, home and abroad, wanting to know what he had done to warrant being called out on your radio program entitled “Egbani Elaja” on Fresh 105.9FM, Ibadan owned by Fresh FM Nigeria Limited.

“At first, our Client was shocked and perplexed by these revelations as he had not listened to your radio program at the time. In order to verify this allegation, our Client listened to the live session of the said programme via the Fresh FM official Facebook page on https://facebook.com and to his greatest shock and chagrin, he heard his name being called out by the anchor, Alhaji Taofeek Akeugbagold who made statements concluded and or inferring that our Client is a criminal and land grabber.

“You would recall that while the said radio program was going on, our Client, in a bid to confront you and debunk your lies, drove down to your station and joined the live program.

“You would also recall that it was in the course of this program that it became evident that the real purpose of calling out our Client was to settle the person vendetta and or scores with our Client wherein you falsely and maliciously alleged that your sum of N2,800,000.00 (Two Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) only was handed over to our Client and he refused to deliver same to you.

“You would further recall that your relationship with our Client started when you approached the family who are being represented by our Client and proposed to purchase 200 (Two Hundred) acres of their family land, and which you paid a deposit of the sum of N2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) through one Lawyer Sandra and you promised to pay a sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) every month until the purchase price is liquidated.

“However, you would recall that aside the deposit sum of N2,500,000.00 (Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira) deposited, you neglected, refused and or failed any other sum in respect of the said parcel of land.

However, rather than paying the balance sum as agreed, you started selling the said parcel of land to unsuspecting buyers and the sum realized from this illicit sale was allegedly paid to the same set of people/opponents that the family represented by our Client had obtained several court judgments against in respect of the said parcel of land.

“You would further recall that when our Clients refused your taking possession of the said parcel of land on the ground of non-payment of the agreed sum, you surreptitiously wrote a false petition which led to the arrest of our Client and the members of the family. It was when these antics failed that you have now resorted to using your radio station to disparage the name and persons of our Client.

“What is most disturbing is the fact that prior to coming on air to call our Client out to “report” to your radio program in other to “prove” its innocence to the allegations reported to you, you never deemed it fit to contact our Client for the purpose of asking for his own side.

“At this juncture, we wish to respectfully admonish you on the need to get in touch with people who had been “reported” to your program and get their consent to participate in your mediation exercise before going on air to mention their names or call them out.

In our Client’s case, you did none of this before going on air with the unwarranted and unsubstantiated allegations and character assassinations against our Client which has now been found to be nothing short of your futile attempt to settle a personal vendetta against our Client.

“It must be noted that despite our Client’s claim that he was never invited, you kept insisting that an invitation was sent to him and that his failure to honour your invitation is a justification to utter several false, slanderous and malicious statements of and concerning our Client and to call out our Client’s name inferring our Client to be a criminal and fraudster whom the Nigeria Police Force has been conniving with. We have taken the pain to record the video version of the said program for record purpose.

“The implication of the above statement that was reportedly made on your programme is that our Client is in the habit of short-changing or cheating and stealing from people. You have used the platform of your radio program to settle a personal score and or vendetta against our Client without any justifiable reason.

Our Client feels seriously embarrassed at the false and slanderous statements against the person and business of our Client.

These have seriously damaged the solid business reputation which our Client had built with hard work and great resilience over several decades and several of his customers have expressed their reservations at continuing their business relationship with our Client.

What is more surprising to a discerning mind is your attitude in prematurely stamping our Client with the toga of criminality and or cheat by imputing him to be a thief, liar, criminal, killer, sorcerer, fraudster, and all manner of negative vices without any reasonable justification during your radio program.

The use of those uncharitable and unprintable scandalous words of and concerning our Client implies that you had already formed an opinion and that you were merely looking for an opportunity of crucifying our Client on your programme.

“In view of the way and manner our Client has been treated and verbally attacked and threatened by yourself and other anchors on your program on 15th May 2022, coupled with the fact of your relationship and transaction with our Client, our Client has been advised not to attend a sham invitation that you have now extended to him on your next program scheduled to hold on 22nd May 2022 for crucifixion.

“At this juncture sir, it is pertinent to educate you and bring to your attention that either yourself or your programme or radio station (i.e. Fresh FM 105.9) does not enjoy the compelling powers of a Court in securing attendance of any person at her proceedings. This is contrary to your false, misleading and uninformed assertion and inference that you can validly compel or even exercise any power to mention and say or do anything against our Client on your program if he fails to honour your invitation.

“It is therefore futile to continue to shout the names of our Client on your station. One would have thought that as an investigative journalist who ought to frown at the practice of yellow journalism, you would have used your good offices to properly investigate the allegation levelled against our Client by your complainant, and in the event that our Client decides to exercise his right not to honour your invitation to participate in your so called investigation, you would advise your so called complainant to approach the court if they have any reasonable claim or allegation against our Client.

What is more, considering the fact that you are directly involved on the issue in dispute, which is a parcel of land and which dispute is already subject of an action before a court of law and judgments already delivered in respect of same subject matter, we do not expect that you would wear the toga of being an accuser, investigator, judge at the same time.

“We have been reliably informed that because of the personal grouse with our Client which developed as a result of our Client’s denying and preventing you from selling and taking possession of the parcel of land until you pay the full amount, you still intend to continue with your verbal onslaught against our Client when you come on air at noon on 22nd May 2022.

We want to therefore admonish you to stop making any inferences as it relates to our Client on your programme. If you or your Complainants have anything at all against our Client, the doors of the courts are never shut against them.

Meanwhile, we have our Client’s instructions to DEMAND for a written apology within Twenty-four hours of receipt of this letter which must be replicated on your next live radio program on 22nd May 2022.

“Furthermore, we demand for a compensatory sum of N50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira) only for the financial, emotional, reputational and psychological damages foisted on our Client as a result of the false, slanderous and malicious statements of and concerning our Client which were uttered during the live program of your “Egbani Elaja” on Fresh 105.9FM, Ibadan on 15th May 2022.

“However, in the unlikely event that the above stated conditions are not fulfilled, we have our Client’s instructions to immediately commence an action in libel against your person and the owners of the broadcast outfit whose stations and facilities you used in disseminating false, slanderous and malicious statements of and concerning our Client.

Kindly accept sir, the assurances of our warm regards”, the letter reads.

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