A clergyman, Apostle Johnson Suleman, has petitioned the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) asking it to sanction Festus Keyamo (SAN) over public statements he made against him following one Stephanie Otobo’s allegation.
Stephanie had alleged Apostle Suleiman had amorous relationship with her and promised to marry her but later reneged.
In the petition, Apostle Suleiman alleged that Keyamo tried to smear his name through the media.
Counsel to Suleiman, Barr. Olayiwola Afolabi told journalists in Benin City that the way and manner Keyamo went about the matter was unprofessional as he (Keyamo) refused to respond to letters sent to him by Suleman which prompted the decision to petition the NBA.
Afolabi said Keyamo made spurious allegations against his client and engaged in a smear campaign against Suleman but did not recant his statements when Otobo publicly apologised to Suleman.
He said, “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 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.
Afolabi noted that Otobo later made a public apology to Suleman but Keyamo wss yet to retract his public statements against Suleman.
A response to Apostle Suleman’s petition by the Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Jonathan Gunu Taidi dated 29th January 2019 directed Suleiman to within 21 days forward to it a statement sworn before a competent court, witness statement of any witness he may wish to call with “concise statement of material facts to be relied upon in support of the petition” with relevant documents, this it said would enable it take a decision on the petition.
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