Tony Osauzo, Benin
The controversy over alleged amorous relationship between Stephanie Otobo and Apostle Johnson Suleman, has resurrected, with Suleman calling on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to sanction Festus Keyamo (SAN).
Suleman alleged that Keyamo tried to smear his name through the media that he was in amorous relationship with Stephanie and promised to marry her but later reneged.
The Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jonathan Gunu Taidi, in his reply dated January 29, 2019, directed Suleman to within 21 days, forward to the NBA, a statement sworn before a competent court, statement of any witness he might wish to call with “concise statement of material facts to be relied upon in support of the petition” with relevant documents, to enable the association take a decision on the petition.
Speaking to journalists in Benin, counsel to Suleman, Olayiwola Afolabi, said the way and manner Keyamo went about the matter was unprofessional and that he refused to respond to letters sent to him by Suleman, forcing the clergyman to petition the NBA.
He said Keyamo made spurious allegations against his client beginning from March 3 when he began a smear campaign against Suleman and did not recant his statements when Otobo publicly apologised to Suleman.
“While Keyamo made a demand on our client supposedly on the brief of Stephanie Otobo, our client had hardly received and acknowledged receipt of the letter when he followed up with a petition to the Inspector General of Police and an organised media attack on our client.
“As widely accepted in the legal sphere, an addressee of a letter ought to have taken receipt of it before any supposed action would be taken on it, but in this instance, not only did he make it a subject of media gossips, he engaged in active conversations in the public sphere through print and other media on the matter for which our client had no opportunity to debunk the allegations,” Olayiwola said.
He explained that Otobo later made a public apology to Suleman but Keyamo was yet to retract his public statements against Suleman.