A Lagos High Court presided by Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi, at the Tafawa Balewa Square Thursday ordered On Air Personality (OAP) Omotoke ‘Toke’ Makinwa to pay ex-husband and fitness entrepreneur Maje Ayida the sum of N1 million for defamation.
Justice Ogunjobi confirmed the allegation that Makinwa made defamatory statements in her 2016 book “On Becoming” published by Kachifo Ltd.
The Judge said that “after a careful consideration of the evidence before the court,” it found only the contents of page 54 line 11-16 and page 83, Line 1 of the 1st defendants book as defamatory.
The court also found that Toke’s claim in those pages of the book that she gave Ayida N2,000 to give to a woman and that she got an infection through him, were unproven.
In page 54 of the book, line 11-16 reads: “He dropped me off but asked if I had two thousand naira, he wanted to leave it at the gate for his cousin who was visiting. I gave him the money. I stupidly paid for Anita’s transport and I couldn’t speak up. I was in shock.”
Page 83, line 1 reads: “He had given me an STI (sexually transmitted infection) in the past.”
The judge awarded N500,000 as damages against each of the 1st and 2nd defendants to any charity organisation of the Ayida’s choice
The court further ordered an injunction preventing Makinwa and Kachifo from producing more copies of the book from pages 54 and 83 which had the defamatory words
Justice Ogunjobi further ordered the deletion of the defamatory words from the unsold copies within 30 days.
Ayida filed the suit marked ID/ADR/820/2017 through his counsel Kemi Pinheiro SAN leading Adetokunbo Davies.
Makinwa and Kachifo Ltd were represented by Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika SAN
In his February 15, 2019 amended statement of claim the claimant contended through Pinheiro that his estranged ex-wife was obsessed with social media and fame and had made several defamatory statements on several pages of the book, including but not limited to pages 44, 48, 52, 54, 63, 64, 82, 83, 92 and 128.
He affirmed that the words were published by the defendant“knowing they were false, or recklessly as to their truth or falsity… having calculated that the benefit to them would outweigh any compensatory damages the Claimant may be entitled to and by reason of which the Claimant is entitled to aggravated damages.”
The Claimant told the court that aside being a columnist in two Nigeria most read newspaper, he was a reputable businessman and professional who works within the Health and Wellness Industry.
He further said that the defendant willfully and maliciously” portrayed him as person of questionable character.