By Sunny Green
Prince Yemi Itodo, the Senior Special Assistant on New Media to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has threatened to file a N2 billion suit against the spokesperson of Hon. Hassan Saleh Campaign Organization, Cletus Agada for defamation.
The threat was contained in a demand letter by his legal team, Pathfind Attorneys, dated 8th April, 2022 and addressed to Cletus Agada.
In the letter which was signed by the Senior Partner, Precious Aire, Esq, the law firm cited how Agada defamed their client in a widely published write up on Facebook Friday, 8th April, 2022.
The letter read inter alia: “In the aforesaid write up bearing the photograph of our client, you made false and unsubstantiated defamatory statements against his person in the following words:
“From Hon. Prince Onuh to Gov. Samuel Ortom and Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, Prince Yemi Itodo is a criminal and serial blackmailer and cyber thug that has elevated blackmail to a trade and even have apprentice in his “workshop”.
“Unfortunately for him this time, Hon. Hassan Anthony Saleh whom he’s trying to open an office on his head, has no intention of inviting him for “settlement” or patronage”.
“But for the fact that he’s shameless, I would have said it will be a big shame if Yemi does not resign his membership of the PDP when Hon. Saleh is cleared for the primaries”.
The law firm submitted that Agada’s “false, libellous, malicious, and defamatory statements” have and continue to damage the hard-earned reputation of their client who had already built a sound reputation over the years as a successful investigative journalist, businessman cum politician.
It therefore, demanded a retraction of the defamatory statements published on Facebook, in addition to an unreserved written apology to their client through the law firm’s office and publication of same in three National Newspapers to wit; The Nation, Leadership and Blueprint.
It added that failure of the defamer to comply with the demands within 72 hours will leave them with no choice than to seek legal redress in court “where we shall be claiming damages in the sum of N2,000,000,000 (Two Billion Naira) on behalf of our client”.
Meanwhile, Comrade Yemi Itodo has opened up on why he threatened to go legal on the defamatory comments made against him by Cletus Agada of the Hassan Anthony Saleh Campaign Organization.
Itodo in a statement in Abuja Saturday, said the defamer elated to malign his person and ascribed “unprintable names” to him.
“In the said publication made via the instrumentality of social media, which is regarded as agent of multimedia as captioned in section 22 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended; the Media Aide and official spokesman of Hon. Saleh, an aspirant for Senate of Benue South under the PDP, labeled me as a “criminal”, “serial blackmailer” and “cyber thug”, he stated.
He pointed out that “there was no prior acrimony between me and the said Media Aide to Hon. Hassan Saleh, saved for the trending discourse on the social space, wherefore, his Principal posted his resignation letter as an SLA to the Speaker of House of Representatives. The former 2 terms Reps Member’s post got public attention and the youth and PDP members in Benue South started asking if it was right for him to have held unto an appointment with an APC government, only for him to have resigned one month to PDP primaries, to seek a senatorial ticket of the umbrella party.
“Permit me to also place emphasis on the fact that, I neither joined in the commentary, nor made any post on my wall in support or against the topic. To my greatest surprise, the boy went and posted one long epistle on Thursday morning, tagging and trying to rubbish the appointment given to me by His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom. I went to his wall and pleaded that he untag me and also leave Governor out of the discourse. He never listened.”
Itodo added: “Aside the publication, I have also received plenty threats from family members and associates of the aspirant. One Saleh Ododo’s message of threat which he made openly, and other recorded calls are being scrutinized by the agents of State, as we speak.”