Skip to main content

Nigerian Journalist Imumolen Moves To Sue Facebook, Local Firm Over ‘Unauthorised Use Of Picture’, Seeks Apology, Over N50Billion In Damages

March 22, 2023

He is demanding over N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira Only) as compensation.

A Nigerian multimedia publicist and Managing Director and CEO of Reinworth Limited, Mr. Francis Imumolen, is set to sue Facebook and Organic More Company, a marketing firm based in Abuja, Nigeria for “unauthorized use and publication of his image for prostrate cancer herbal product promo”.

He is demanding over N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira Only) as compensation.

According to Mr. Imumolen, the suit will be necessary to seek redress in the event of failure of the organisations concerned to reply within the five working days given from the receipt of the notices of complaint served and subsequent pre-order notices also to be served them by the counsel for Mr. Imumolen.

Imumolen, a former News Reporter and Sports Commentator at Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, FRCN, popularly called Radio Nigeria, claimed he saw the advert online on January 8, 2023.

However, in a recent twist in a letter replied to by Facebook International service, Nigeria, Imumolen said it was clearly stated that the letter of complaint should not be sent to them but advised that it should be written to Meta Platforms office in California, USA, who has the right to handle such issues.

It is on these grounds that Mr. Imumolen seeks to put the issue on both international and local media and other means possible to get justice.

The journalist said he was shocked and bewildered on seeing the advert on January 8, adding that he had to do a recorded conversation while calling the Abuja firm on phone to know their exact operational office location. He said he later travelled from Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory on a fact-finding mission to locate the office.

Adetola Olulenu Esq of Gracious Chambers, counsel for Mr. Imumolen described the conduct of Facebook and the local firm as unwarranted and defamatory.

The counsel said it was odious for the firm to use his client's image in an advert on Facebook without his consent. The advert was reportedly for an herbal product for prostate cancer.

The counsel, therefore, demanded on behalf of his client:

“Compensation of N50,000,000,000 (Fifty Billion Naira Only) or its 'Dollar Equivalent' and unreserved apology to be published on Facebook and one National Daily in Nigeria from Facebook International among other demands.

“Compensation of N100,000,000 (One Hundred Million Naira Only) from Organic More.”

The counsel was also quoted to say, "This online publication no doubt has caused our client untold hardship, serious trauma; emotional, physical, psychological, and mental torture and has further caused him to suffer breakdown in his health as a result of series of phone calls he had received from family members and friends, who came across the said online advert, more so when his consent was never sought or obtained before your Organisation permitted the said company to conduct itself unlawfully.

"We make bold to say that our client is neither suffering from prostate cancer nor any cancer disease at all and he wonders why Facebook without verifying the source of the picture or confirming whether a written consent of the owner had been sought and obtained, just without caution went ahead to allow the use of our client's picture.

“There is no gainsaying the fact that the action of Facebook International has caused many of the callers of our client to start avoiding him or having any physical contact with him since then.

"Candidly therefore, your company's action constitutes a clear and joint violation of our client's intellectual right, right to dignity and privacy along with Organic More, and he is thus entitled to an immediate exemplary compensation from your company."

Nigerian Journalist Imumolen Moves to Sue Facebook, Local Firm Over ‘Unauthorised Use of Picture’, Seeks Ap... by Sahara Reporters on Scribd