FALANA & FALANA’S CHAMBERS Lagos 25, Adekunle Fajuyi Way G.R.A Ikeja Lagos, Nigeria Tel: 234-1-496907 E-mail: [email protected] RE: ALLEGED INTERVIEW GRANTED BY DR. GBENGA OBASANJO TO OMOYELE SOWORE We are solicitors to the Independent Communications Network Limited (hereinafter referred to as “our client”) on whose behalf we write this letter.
We have our client’s instruction to react to your aforementioned letter as follows:
1. In spite of your client’s belated denial of his interview published in the January 16, 2006 edition of The News Magazine our client insists that the views and opinions expressed by him were accurately reported in a most professional manner. We challenge your client to point out what aspects of the “discussions” were embellished by our Mr. Omoyele Sowore
2. However, our client sympathizes with your client whose “patriotic views” have generated “widespread political coloration” that was never contemplated by him.
3. With respect to the fuss you have made over the granting of the interview in question by our client, we are compelled to direct your attention to page 745 of the Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language where the word “interview” is defined thus: “i. A conversation or meeting in which a writer or reporter ask questions of a person or persons from whom material is sought for a newspaper story, television broadcast etc. ii .the report of such a conversation or meeting”
4. Having conceded that your client held a “conversation” with our Mr. Omoyele Sowore on issues of public interest we submit that our client has not violated any law for publishing the report of such conversation. Neither can our client be held responsible if your client has been scandalized in the circumstances since it is not unusual “among Nigerians whenever they are gathered to evince patriotic views”
5. If your client genuinely maintains that “ there is no way he could have uttered such vituperation against people of such caliber in my father’s government” what then informed his decision to express regret over “the embarrassment that this might have caused members of his family”?
6. Since you claim to be fully briefed by your client we expect him to have informed you that the Presidency was compelled to dissociate itself from the publication after confirming that your client granted the interview in question.
7. In view of the undeniable fact that the publication concerns matters of national interest our client deserves to be commended for reporting the views of your client so accurately. In the light of the foregoing there is no justification whatsoever for your demand for a retraction and apology to your client or any member of his family. However, should you wish to take out a Writ of Summons on your clients behalf we have our client’s instructions to join issue with you so as to justify the publication in every material particular. Yours sincerely, Femi Falana