***Because, You Won’t Win
Farooq Kperogi, a Media scholar and columnist, has urged Femi-Fani-Kayode(FFK) to abandon his moves against Daily trust, describing it as needless and has tendencies to further destroy him.
He took this position In a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle, @farooqkperogi on Tuesday, where he advised the former aviation minister withdraw threats against Daily Trust and “lick his wounds”, to avoid inciting steps by the newspaper to prove his connection to drugs.
“Whoever advised FFK to sue Daily Trust over a scathingly unflattering opinion article that an occasional contributor to the paper’s opinion pages wrote about him doesn’t love him, ” Kperogi said.
Recall that FFK, earlier on Tuesday demanded N6 billion as compensation from Daily Trust newspapers for allegedly defaming him.
The newspaper had published an opinionated piece titled “The Drug Addled Thug In Designer Wears”, where FFK was described as a “drug addict”.
Tweeting on the published article by Daily trust, Kperogi explained that most virulent things encapsulated in the report qualified as an opinion and fair comment in media law and are not actionable.
“The only potentially libelous statement in the piece is the claim that Fani-Kayode is a drug addict who had been treated, without success in psychiatric hospitals in Ghana (and other places) but who hasn’t recovered from his drug addiction.
“That’s not an opinion that enjoys constitutional protection; it is a statement that implies a definitive habit of moral turpitude that can be proven to be either true or false,” he said.
He, however, posited that truth is a defence in libel, and proceeding with the lawsuit would only compel the newspaper to “prove that he was indeed a drug addict who had been treated at psychiatric hospitals”.
He pointed out that such action if proven would expose FFK to even more public ridicule; his reputation, “irretrievably sullied that he would become what defamation lawyers call a “libel-proof plaintiff,” that is, someone whose reputation is already so thoroughly damaged that no libelous statement can damage it further”.
Kperogi said that as a public figure who willfully thrusts himself into public consciousness and influence national conversations, FFK should quietly withdraw his threats against Daily Trust, noting that his kind rarely wins libel cases.
“If the man is wise, he should just lick his wounds quietly and withdraw his threat against Daily Trust. It would hurt him more than it would help him,” kperogi said.
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