By Yemi Adebowale | News Editor
Tacopina & Seigel, New York based lawyers have initiated legal action against online newspaper Sahara Reporters for defaming the person of former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro after the media outfit published an audio recording where Senator Obanikoro allegedly had a conversation with other individuals over the Ekiti gubernatorial election.
In a ‘cease and desist’ letter dated 19 February 2015 and exclusively released on Friday by The Breaking Times online newspaper, Joseph Tacopina, a top New York criminal lawyer and attorney to Senator Obanikoro writes to Mr. Sowore: “You recently stated during a February 14, 2015 “Sit Out” that Sen. Obanikoro “has killed many people in Lagos state” and is a “murderer.” According to my client, you simply have no factual basis to make such an utterly baseless and incredible statement. Indeed, the very fact that you would make such an outlandish statement evidences your clear bias and that your “reporting” is merely propaganda for Sen. Obanikoro’s political opponents.”
Mr. Tacopina went further to dismiss Sahara Reporter’s Ekiti audio recording for which Senator Obanikoro has already sued the media outfit in Nigeria, describing the tape as “a complete fabrication.”
“I demand that you, Sahara Reporters and/or any entity under your control immediately cease and desist from making any false and disparaging statements about Sen. Obanikoro on the internet or to any third party and immediately and publicly retract the above-referenced defamatory statements. If you fail to do so and continue your defamatory conduct, my office will aggressively pursue all legal remedies against you, Sahara Reporters and/or any entity under your control”, Tacopina wrote.
Hearing is yet to be fixed for the Lagos High court defamation case filed by Senator Obanikoro against Sahara Reporters, Premium Times and Punch Newspapers.