By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Journalist Sylvanus Ofekun has challenged the minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, to head to court if he believes he has a case for his alleged defamation over the news report linking him to have benefited from the Lekki Tollgate.
The minister had on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, submitted a petition to the IGP, alleged that Journalist Ofekun, with the moniker ‘Sleeky Sly’, accused him of daily benefitting from Lagos Concession Company (LCC), operator of the Lekki Tollgate, which has been at the center of the #EndSARS protests.
Reacting, Mr Ofekun who currently plies his journalism-profession with Kiss FM radio station, Abuja, said Mr Dare should have approached a court of competent jurisdiction for justices rather than intimidating a soft target.
Ofekun in a statement released yesterday urged the minister to respect his office by allowing the Police to do their job.
“I have within the past week read several online news blog sites of a petition written against me to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, by Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Mr Sunday Dare.
“I had taken it to be one of those fake news but with a confirmation from a post by an aide of the minister, John Joshua over the weekend on Facebook, it has become necessary to advise the minister to respect his office as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Inasmuch as I love his first approach to investigate the source of the news linking him to have benefited from the Lekki Tollgate, I would advise to allow the police do their job.
“From his statement yesterday, I’m concerned that Mr Dare has become the accuser, the judge and the executor of the petition he brought before the number one police officer.
“The office of a minister is honourable and it is expected to be treated as such. If Mr Dare is convinced about his allegations, he ought to have approached a court of competent jurisdiction for justices rather than playing to the gallery by intimidating a soft target.
While I wait for the police under the able leadership of IGP M.A. Adamu to carry out a detailed investigation about the allegations of Mr Dare, I employ him to always show respect toward his office as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the statement read.