Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has formally withdrawn his claim on Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, wife of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and Nigeria’s envoy to Spain.
The former minister had claimed to have had an intimate relationship with Bianca some years ago, prompting the former beauty queen to deny the claim and asking for an apology, with a threat to go to court.
In a statement, yesterday, Fani-Kayode admitted that some of the words he used to describe his friendship with Bianca, in his article entitled: “A Word for those who call me a tribalist,’’ were indiscreet, hence, his decision to withdraw them.
The statement, signed by Mr. Akinola Babatunde Rotimi, entitled: “Re: Statement on Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu,” stated: “We represent Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, the former spokesman to President Olusegun Obasanjo and the former Minister of Culture and Tourism and Aviation.
“Our client knew Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu in the early to mid-80s when he was a student at London University and Cambridge University respectively. They were good friends at the time and they had a few mutual friends who are still alive today. The bizarre, absurd and inexplicable assertion that they were not friends and that Ambassador Ojukwu has never met our client is patently false.
“Though he has not seen her for over 25 years, he spoke to her on the phone when her husband passed on last year.
“As our client said earlier, through his press secretary, some of the words he used to describe his friendship with Ambassador Ojukwu in his article titled: “A Word For Those Who Call Me A Tribalist,” were indiscreet. He hereby withdraws those words.’’
It will be recalled that Fani-Kayode had, in the article, published in the social media and some segments of the national dailies, claimed to have met with Bianca when she was Miss Bianca Onoh at the Cambridge College and had “intimate” relationship with her together with two other Igbo ladies.
Following the controversial article, Bianca’s lawyers had written a letter to Fani-Kayode asking him to apologise and also retract the statement claiming he dated her many years back or face a lawsuit. In the letter, Bianca said she’s never met Fani-Kayode before.
Bianca, who spoke through her lawyers, Wall Street Attorneys, threatened to drag Fani-Kayode to court if he failed to retract his libelous publication against her within seven days, which expires today.
In the letter from her lawyers to Fani-Kayode, dated August 27, 2013 and signed by Mike Ugwuanyi, Bianca demanded that the former minister writes an apology and retraction of the said libelous publication in The Sun and Thisday newspapers, as well as publish it in the online publication, where it emanated, in the next seven days or face litigation.
Part of the letter wpLritten by Bianca’s lawyers states as thus: “We have been briefed and our services retained by Ambassador Bianca Ojukwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain to demand from you an unreserved apology and a retraction of a false and malicious statement, which you published online and also caused to be published in the Leadership Newspaper of August 16, 2013.
“In the said article entitled, ‘Neither a Tribalist nor a Hater,’ you recklessly alleged, as follows: ‘I was not a tribalist when I had a long standing and intimate relationship with Miss Bianca Onoh…’, a statement, which you know is untrue and unfounded, but only calculated to lower our client’s esteem and damage her national and international reputation.
“Our client has never met you, does not know you in person and has never had any official or private relationship with you, how much more ‘a long-standing and intimate relationship.’
“Our client is therefore, outraged by your bizarre and scandalous allegation and the numerous mails and telephone calls she has received from friends, relations and admirers who are equally embarrassed and who seek to confirm the veracity or otherwise of your false and reckless publication.
“Your apparent lame and half-hearted attempt, as published in the Leadership Newspaper of 17th August 2013, to clarify your false and malicious allegation falls far short of a retraction and does not sufficiently address the damage to our client arising from the widespread dissemination of your false publication and is therefore unacceptable to our client.
“In the circumstances, we demand, on the instruction of our client that you submit to her a clear and unqualified apology and retraction published in The Sun and Thisday newspapers in addition to having the retraction published online.
“Take note that should you fail to tender the apology and publish a retraction of your false and malicious publication, seven days next after your receipt of this demand notice, our further instructions are to seek appropriate redress in court. And that shall be without further recourse to you. Be properly guided.”
My problem is not really this apparently sick man who was alleged to have been a drug addict. I rather have issues with the characters that defended him and his shameless infantile rants. Some of them were people I previously respected. But as it stands today I am eager to end all association with those who defended FFK's hateful indiscretion simply because my brain now associate them with this animal called man (Apologies to Chief Obasanjo).
If your hero is a boy-man who will publicly lie about women he slept with and even engage in "kiss and tell" at over 50 years of age, you must be that way too and not worth associating with. After all they said "show me your friend and I will tell you who you are". To put it mildly, all those who cheered FFK on his wall when he made those rascally posts are versions of FFK virus and not worth associating with, in or out of Facebook. Please delete me as "friend" if you are among them. I deserve friends with better moral and ethical standards.
Ambassador Bianca should reject this apology and/or retraction. It is better to sue the man for his defamatory lies otherwise he will one day twist the purported withdrawal/apology and make all sorts of claims to his gullible supporters. There is nothing to show that FFK has repented or is contrite. At best, he is still creating future escape routes rather than show humility and say "I am sorry, na cocaine cause am".
Let him appear before a competent court of law and provide evidence that he slept with Bianca even while they were "good friends " in the UK 25 years ago. Animals such as snakes are more dangerous when harmed partially without killing them. Native intelligence says "cut off their head" to ensure they won't trouble you or any other person again. Bianca can achieve FFK's full decapitation through the courts.
If she permits him to escape into the bush with mere machete cuts like the half-hearted retraction published in the Sun and Thisday newspapers , the "animal" might chew indian hemp leaves and come back to have more phantom "intimate relationships" with women on the pages of newspapers and facebook. Our women folk deserve more respect.
Similarly, If Femi-"kiss and tell" continue to insist he does not know a certain Shama Malinga that exposed his rotten ass, let him also sue Shama. If he refuses or neglects to sue Shama, we should be free to adopt everything Shama wrote about FFK and his family as true and incontrovertible. Femi's ex-wife should also stop harassing online media publishers with threats of court actions. If push come to shove, she will be compelled by defense attorney's to confirm to the world things Femi will not like us to know. If same online news media published the lies FFK told against Bianca, who is a serving Ambassador, nobody should attempt to harass publishers of some online news sites for publishing Shama's response to FFK. Ex-Mrs FFK can choose to either sue Shama Malinga or accept her travails as another consequence of marrying someone with a history of drug use as publicly alleged by those who should know. . Femi and his current wife know Shama and any claim to the contrary is likely another lie from same drug and hatred damaged brain.
Hopefully, the Femi saga should teach many of us lessons on how not to behave in public. It should also teach us how not to go about seeking acceptance because of political office. Femi wanted to be accepted as a Yoruba tribalist to enable him win governorship election in his state. Unfortunately he went about it in such a way that he currently can only win elections of National Association of Drug Addicts.
No matter how well you treat an animal his first love will always be the bush. And when the animal is a man, we say he is a bush man.
Animalistic withdrawal or retraction make little sense to me unless they lead to putting the animal away permanently to save humanity from oke mkpis of our political and social space.