15th March, 2019
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Otunba Segun Adewale (Aeroland), has threatened to sue the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) over a trending video showing that heengaged in vote-buying during last election in Lagos State.
He demanded that the BBC that the corporation should retract this claim within 72hours to avoid meeting him in court.
He further demanded a retraction of another claim in a viral video by the BBC that he slapped its female reporter who had approached him for an interview during last election exercise where he had gone to vote in Alimosho area of the state.
A statement issued by Adewale denied ever engaging in what was being ascribed to him in the trending video and that the BBC never tried to get his own side of the story as professional ethics demanded before going on air.
Adewale had through his team of lawyers written a letter titled, “Re: Publication of Defamatory Statements and Materials Against Otunba Segun Adewale and Demand for Retraction” and signed by Azeez Atanda (Esq) to the Publisher, BBC Pigeons in that respect.
Adewale, while expressing shock over the trending video, queried that how could he buy votes in a polling booth that his party PDP had never been defeated, urging the BBC to come up with the clip evidence of him buying votes or beating the lady as she (reporter) dramatized in the fake trending video or be ready for a serious legal battle.
“I have informed my lawyers, we are giving them 72 hours to provide the evidence, an action will be taken ruthlessly if BBC fails to provide any evidence of his vote buying,” he threatened, accusing BBC of blackmailing him unjustly in the said “viral video trending on the social media.”
Relating graphic picture of what took place on the day of election, Adewale said as he arrived his polling booth at Iyana Ipaja, he was greeted by a crowd who wanted to catch a glimpse and exchange pleasantries with him due to his popularity as a public figure.
He said while that was going on, he immediately discovered that an unidentified lady began to video tape him against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) guideline which forbade bringing camera to voting areas, a development which he said made him to ask her to stop such action since she had no identity card on her.
“We all know that those in the ruling party use all manner of tricks on those they perceived as opponents, including giving them a bad press, it is my right to accept interview or not.
“I can choose to grant an interview but it has to be with my consent but not in a forceful manner, which I made effort to briefly explain to the lady.
“Yes, when she carried on without my consent in a very rude and disrespectful manner, I did say that I will slap her, which I did not do. I respect women a lot, I cannot do such a thing, either privately or publicly,” Adewale said.
Speaking further, he said when some people in the crowd wanted to manhandle the said lady, he was even the one that prevented them and ensured that all her belongings were intact, pointing out that he only gave the threat to ensure that she stopped video taping him without his consent.
Adewale, therefore, called on the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) and Guild of Editors to intervene on this matter as responsible organizations upholding the integrity and ethics of this noble profession, even as he contended that a journalist should not harass and blackmail a citizen just because he or she wanted to feed the people with bad stories.