By Salifu Usman, Abuja
The minister of youth and sports development, Chief Sunday Dare, has threatened to sue the former world cruiserweight boxing champion, Bash Ali, alleging that the boxer maliciously accused him of wrongdoing.
The minister through his legal team, Festus Keyamo Chambers, said he will seek injunctive and pecuniary damages against erstwhile heavyweight champion and will not hesitate to join any person, medium or organization that publishes any of the defamatory contents authored by Bash Ali, his agents or proxies as a co-defendant to the suit.
Bash Ali had launched a campaign of calumny against the Minister after the Ministry declined to sign on to his supposed ‘Guinness World Record Boxing Championship Bout’ he was promoting.
The Ministry had advised the former boxer to approach the Nigerian Boxing Board of Control (NBBofC) for support as that was the body with the requisite jurisdiction to support his ambition.
The ministry added that it only deals with amateur boxers and not professionals like him, stating that the bout being proposed by Bash Ali was a purely business affair which he could conveniently champion as a private venture without the support of the Ministry.
The libel suit against Bash Ali, according to a statement by SA media to the minister, John Joshua Akanji, would have been filed this week, within days of the ex-boxer releasing a ten-page letter that cast aspersion on the person and character of Mr. Dare, but the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, which has shut the courts.
Mr. Dare’s legal team is however set to serve a pre-action letter to Bash Ali, informing him of the Minister’s intention to sue him for libel and demanding that Bash withdraws the falsehood he is peddling against him and the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.