INEC REC, Agbaje, Asks Activist To Retract Libelous Publication, Demands N250m Damages

Mr. Segun Agbaje, The Lagos INEC REC

For allegedly to have made a libelous statement and published same, the Mr. Segun Agbaje, an Independent National Electoral Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), has asked Mr. Bolaji O. Akinyemi, an activist, to retract what he described ‘libelous publication’ written against his person.

Agbaje in a letter to activist caption “Request For A Retraction Of Statement An Apology And Payment Of Damages For The Libelous Publication Made About And Concerning The Person of Mr Segun Agbaje Titled “Danger! Segun Agbaje: Lagos Inec Rec: System-enabled Election Rigger?”, written by his lawyer, Mr. Gboyega Oyewole (SAN), Principal Partner of Lords&Temple.

Akinyemi was alleged to had made libelous and defamatory statements which besmirched the character and integrity of the INEC REC, Agbaje, in a story published by Sahara Reporters, on February 12, 2023.

Agbaje who is also a former Assistant Director General (ADG) of the Department of State Service (DSS), consequently asked Akinyemi to publish ‘a genuine and elaborate apology’ in two (2) major newspapers and online news outlets of the said libelous statements and publication within 48 hours of receiving the lette

Akinyemi is also asked to make payment of N250 million, as damages for the malicious and false statements made against him. 

The letter to Akinyemi sent to him via his email reads in part: “request for a retraction of statement an apology and payment of damages for the libelous publication made about and concerning The Person Of Mr Segun Agbaje Titled “Danger! Segun Agbaje: Lagos Inec REC: System-enabled Election Rigger?” 

“We are Solicitors to Mr. Olusegun Agbaje MFR., mni, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Lagos State, and a former Assistant Director General (ADG) of the Department of State Service (DSS), on whose instruction we write in respect to the above subject. 

“Our instruction is that you wrote a publication which was made available to the general public on 12th February, 2023, by Sahara Reporters, wherein you made libelous and defamatory statements about our client. 

“In the said publication, you besmirched the character and integrity of our client, in the following terms: “Segun Agbaje was the head of INEC in Osun, the umpire who enable the people’s empire to be raided by a gang of political robbers who have hardly won any election free, fair and square but ever having their way without the majority!” 

“Amid Accusation of INEC in Lagos by the public for demanding State-owned identity cards before PVC registration and rejection of certain tribe for flimsy excuses without providing data not documents, this allegations seem to be true if the revelation of Segun Agbaje that Igbos are immigrants from the South Eastern part of Nigeria is anything to go by. Haba! How can the head of the umpire be the echo of the unreasonable voice of street touts against the Igbos. In Segun Agbaje’s mindset the Igbos aren’t citizens of Nigeria in Lagos, but immigrants who must be denied access to rights of citizens in Lagos. Segun has joined force with market touts and Area boys demanding that Alaba traders should return to Onitsha. It is dangerous and catastrophic for all Nigerians and political parties to fold their hands and allow the election in Lagos to go on under Segun Agbaje as the head of the umpire.” 

“Failure to reprimand characters like Agbaje and allowing mandate thieves to rule is the reason his proteges in Osun can provide 2 BVAS report to create the confusion that Judiciary will feast on, dashing the trust of the people in the BVAS.” 

“He worked his way up at SSS now DSS. Was Segun a system mole in NADECO or a NADECO mole in the system? His closeness with NADECO leading elements of that time necessitated my question? On which side was Agbaje at that time and on which side is Agbaje now? A REC of INEC serving National interest or a tribal man without tribal marks to wreck the nation to advance Yoruba desire for “awa lokan “2” 

“Check every state that has had embarrassing electoral controversy, his foot print of service there are indelible. Segun Agbaje is one of the most experienced intelligence officer in Nigeria alive today; is he planted in INEC? If your answer is yes, then what could be the mission of those who planted him in INEC?” . 

“Our client has informed us that your statements are not only false, misleading and without any factual basis but malicious in all material respect. The said publication is, by the reckoning of our client, a deliberate attempt sponsored and/or designed to malign his professional competence and integrity as a non-partisan person. 

“It is clear beyond doubt that your publication is a systemic ploy by yourself and your anonymous affiliates to impugn the reputation and integrity of our client and unjustifiably assassinate his character in the eyes of right-thinking members of the public. 

“The publication you made does not only claim that our client was installed into the Nigerian electoral system to truncate the longstanding concept of democracy in Nigeria, but it also asserts that our client connived with certain individuals who you defined as market touts, area boys and hoodlums, to cause civil unrest in a bid to influence the outcome of elections conducted in Nigeria. 

“This is in all material sense malicious and injurious to our client’s reputation as he has recently received numerous telephone calls from his affiliates and some members of the general public regarding the veracity and genuineness of the allegations made about him in your publication. 

“Our client has consequently directed us to request the following: 

“The retraction of your libelous statements and publication; That you publish a genuine and elaborate apology in two (2) major newspapers and online news outlets; and 

“The payment of the sum of N250,000,000.00 (Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira only) as damages for the malicious and false statements made against him. 

“TAKE NOTICE that if you fail to accede to the requests of our client within forty eight (48) hours of your receipt of this letter, we shall be constrained to proceed to the Court of law against you and claim exemplary damages for injurious falsehood and the malicious statements made concerning our client.”