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IBD Dende charges FIJ and Fisayo to court, demands N500 million

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FIJ vs IBD Dende

A legal battle is about to commence, as legal representatives of IBD Dende, led by Bola Aidi (SAN) & Co., fired off a pre-action letter to ‘Fisayo Soyombo, the founder of FIJ (Foundation for Investigative Journalism).

The letter demanded N500 million in damages and a retraction of his investigative piece titled “Undercover as a Smuggler,” among other requests.

The investigative documentary, published on FIJ, came under fire from IBD Dende’s legal team, who labelled it as libellous.

Specifically, they condemned the allegations made in the documentary, as well as subsequent tweets, regarding their client’s purported involvement in smuggling activities while collaborating with Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officials.

In response, FIJ’s legal representative, Slingstone Law, has rebuffed the demands within three hours of receiving the pre-action letter.

Abimbola Ojenike, leading the legal team, sent a persistent message to Bola Aidi, signalling their readiness to take the matter to court.

The pre-action letter, as seen by FIJ’s legal team, accused the documentary of being spurious and damaging to their client’s reputation.

It highlighted passages from the documentary, including comparisons between their client and criminal elements, as particularly egregious and defamatory.

In a bold rebuttal, FIJ’s legal team rejected the allegations, asserting their client’s right to investigative journalism and freedom of speech. They emphasised their confidence in defending against what they deemed as baseless and factually untrue accusations.

“FIJ welcomes the opportunity to have a day in Court as assured in the March 15 letter from Bola Aidi (SAN) & Co.,” as stated by FIJ.

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