Wednesday, 30 May 2012

CHARLEY BOY IN SERIOUS WAR WITH NATIONAL MIRROR, DAILY INDEPENT NEWS PAPER OVER GAY SCANDAL! Plots to sue them millions of naira

If there is one thing that Charles Oputa, AKA Charlyboy is known for, it’s his silence over people’s opinion about his personality brand. He hardly ever picks up court cases against publishers and publishing companies for any kind of story speculated against him or his brand. However, one is shocked at the step he has taken so far towards redressing the latest gay story syndicated across newspapers in the country. This time, Charlyboy has decided to use National Mirror and Daily Independent as scape-goats, and as a warning signal to other newspapers that syndicate stories without due verification.
It was said that the National Mirror and Daily Independent as well as other newspapers have on Saturday, 26th May circulated a story indicating that Charlyboy, in an interview admitted being gay and leader of Nigerian Illuminati, quoting one Danfo Newspaper. This news trending the internet for over two days has been confirmed to be false by Charlyboy as he opined that he never granted any of such interview. Charlyboy who had on Monday morning declared on twitter that he would be suing for the malicious news formulated to dent his image by the National Mirror and daily independent said “I read with total dismay in Saturday mirror newspaper that I am gay and head of Illuminati… I have never sued before...but this time....” The statement that generated a lot of comment from his curious fans and followers on twitter and other social sites was immediately followed by a release from his press Secretary, Adoyi Abah Ali who had exclusively told journalists that his boss was filling for libel.
It was gathered that Adoyi had earlier in the day written to the Publisher of National Mirror Steve Ayorinde, drawing his attention to the said publication. In the letter tagged “Re-I’m Gay- Charlyboy” Adoyi had blamed Steve for allowing such story to be used under his watch considering his experience in journalism. He had asserted that the brand managers would ensure that National Mirror and its allies are punished for stating an opinion as though it was a fact. The letter reads; “Dear Steve, Re-I’m Gay “-Charlyboy” I write to draw your attention to a story released on your paper on Sunday, 26th May, 2012 titled” I’m Gay-Charlyboy” I’m well aware of how close you have been with the charlyboy brand since the past 25 years, and how grounded you have been in relation to the Charlyboy persona. This invariably shows that you have been able to follow the Charlyboy Brand all through your career in the field of journalism. Such display of interest and continuous curiosity to know more about the mission, vision and the character of the brand is worth commending. This is in exception of your positive contribution to the brand since the inception of your paper (National Mirror). However, I’m a little disappointed that under your watch, such irresponsible and malicious story with such screaming headline could be published, maybe in the bid to draw traffic or encourage readership of your paper. I’m simply amazed! What amazes me the most is your little understanding of the character of the Charlyboy brand and the reason with which it was established. You of all people should know that if truly he is gay, he would have been the first person to come out, screaming on top of his voice, even in market places defending gay rights. He wouldn’t have needed any newspaper to fight the authority over his right. Yes, you and I know that, yet you let the story out without much consideration on its effect on the brand that mentors young people. I’m pained not because a rumour was just speculated that CB is gay and head of Illuminati in Nigeria, but I’m touched due to the fact that you called it a “confession” through a fictitious interview that was never published in your paper or any other paper. If you could conclude that he is gay because of an interview culled from another paper, you should have balanced the story by insisting on hearing the other side. You are respected in the Charlyboy organization as one of the few credible journalists. We are aware of your fight in the past for integrity and respect, so it is obvious why I can’t hide my disappointment that this irresponsible journalism happened under your watch, in the most unprofessional manner Anyway, I should hope that you have a copy of the original interview granted by the Areafada where he admitted being gay on tape. On our own part, we cannot control people’s opinion in a matter such as this, but to have come out to state categorically that Charlyboy granted an interview in relation to this issue is not only scandalous, but ‘human slaughter’. Your paper has gone beyond the boundaries, and would have to answer some basic questions as to how this story got to it. At the moment, one can only believe that Charlyboy’s interview is presently on tape and on your desk as claimed. I would like to remind you again that the brand is a seasoned Journalist and understands the minutiae of Journalism and cannot be rubbished by any newspaper. Having said this, I want to assure you that the Management of the brand will definitely ask questions in order to avert such libelous story in future, because this recklessness in journalism must stop! Yours Faithfully, Adoyi Abah Ali ( CB Press Secretary)” In a related development, Charlyboy’s Attorneys led by a renowned entertainment and radical lawyer, Barrister Ope Banwo have written to both National Mirror and Daily Independent demanding a retraction of the said story within the next 72 hours or face the consequence of the law. The attorneys who said the story was a clear case of deliberate and malicious attempt to malign and injure the reputation of their client, Charles Oputa, known as Charlyboy among all reasonable people in the industry and the society at large, said national Mirror and Daily Independent must retract the story before the expiration of 72 hours. The letter reads; “Dear Sir, RE: COMPLAINT ABOUT YOUR LIBELLIOUS PUBLICATION IN YOUR NEWSPAPER OF 26TH MAY 2012 TITLED: “CHARLEYBOY CONFESSES HE IS GAY AND HEAD OF ILLUMINATI” We are attorneys and solicitors to Charles Oputa, a/k/a Charly Boy, (hereinafter referred to as our Client) and on whose instruction and behalf we write concerning the above subject: 1. Our client’s attention has been drawn to the publication in the May 26th, 2012 edition of your Newspaper in which your newspaper published under very bold caption, “CHARLEY BOY CONFESSES HE IS GAY AND HEAD OF ILLUMINATI”. This patently false and malicious publication was published under very bold caption and widely circulated across the country both hard copies and online publications. 2. This widely read false and unsubstantiated report, falsely, maliciously and without any regard for the truth of any facts, published in your Newspaper alleges several untrue statements about our Client which we believe were deliberately and maliciously calculated to impugn on his reputation and brand as one of the major figures in the entertainment industry. 3. The offending publication contained several untrue and unverified reports about our client with specific references to imaginary stories and nonexistent facts as no specific interview was referred to in the said publication which states as follows: a. That Charles Oputa has confessed to be gay. Your report states: “Controversial Maverick entertainment personality, Charles Oputa, better known as Charley Boy, has set another record with his confession that he is gay. By so confessing, he becomes only the second public known gay man in Nigeria….Those who know CB well however say he’s not someone who likes being a follower. He’s always a leader in everything he does and he’s now ready to take his rightful leadership position in the gay world”. This aspect of your report is patently false and malicious in the extreme because nothing even remotely resembling what you reported ever happened. b. That your report further states that our Client made this declaration in YOUR imaginary interview for he never granted any interview as such: in any event your report fails to state when and where the interview was granted which further confirms the story to be imaginary. Your reports states as follows: “In an interview with a new publication, Danfo Express, CB declared that he is gay and not ashamed of being gay” c. Again there is no doubt that this is a clear case of deliberate act to ruin the hard earned reputation of our client by your publication particularly the brand which he has built and nurtured for decades. d. Further to the above, you also deliberately turned your opinion into facts, albeit unsubstantiated, and thus in a bid to seek public attention and make money out of same, recklessly and maliciously published demeaning and untrue story about our Client with an intention to ruin his reputation. Specifically, your report of 26th May 2012 on your Newspaper further states “ …Even as he made other disclosure about himself, he didn’t forget to add that he is the head of the Illuminati in Nigeria, the same illuminati that people accuse Jay – Z, D ‘Banj AND Don Jazzy of being members and they keep deny-ing membership. While his audacious revelations might seem like a publicity stunt on his part, let’s not forget the saying ‘there’s no smoke with- out fire’ For CB to say all these things about himself there must be an element of truth in them...” e. Again there is no truth whatsoever to the report that Our Client ever declared that he’s head of Illuminati. As the characteristic of your disregard for truth of any story, you did not bother to verify this either with our Client assuming without conceding that such an interview was ever granted, which was not the case anyway. 4. The total content of the report as well as the criminally careless and irresponsible manner it was reported by your Newspaper and even published same online showed a clear case of deliberate and malicious attempt to malign and injure the reputation of our client, Charles Oputa, known as Charley Boy among all reasonable people in the industry and the society at large, since the report was FALSE IN ITS ENTIRETY and without any iota of truth. 5. For your information, Our Client never granted any interview nor did he declare that he’s gay or head of Illuminati whatsoever. The idea and your opinion that Our Client declared that he’s gay and head of Illuminati is not only a figment of your reporters’ imagination but a most blatant example of ‘yellow journalism’, since the report did not interview or quote anybody on the matter before rushing to print. 6. Your over-eager, lazy and disturbingly careless reporter could have ascertained the simple fact of when and where the alleged interview was granted and thereafter by making serious attempts to contact our Client or brand company, even if it is only by phone. Our Client has all his contacts available in many publications and on the internet. He has a robust website as well as a very famous face book page through which you could have sent him messages. How your Newspaper could claim to fairly report on unsubstantiated interview that NEVER happened is beyond the imagination of any rational thinking person. The only conclusion that a reasonable person can draw from your totally biased and malicious report is that it was a calculated attempt to malign the professional integrity and reputation of our client. 7. This malicious report by your newspaper is not only FALSE IN ALL ITS MATERIAL PARTICULARS, the circumstances and careless manner of the publication also shows that your newspaper had no regard for the truth of the subject matter contained in the report. The report was published by your newspaper without ANYBODY FROM YOUR COMPANY EVEN BOTHERING TO INTERVIEW OUR CLIENT. 8. Your Newspaper was no doubt aware of the incalculable and irreparable damage that such a publication could have on our Client’s hard earned reputation particularly his brand which is one of the most famous brands in the entertainment industry. Yet nobody bothered to investigate the matter or deemed it necessary to get the reactions of our Client who was directly and adversely affected by the said report. Your act in this regards no doubt establishes a clear case of malicious defamation of our client reputation. 9. Our client has already started feeling the negative effects of the malicious and untrue publication made against him by your Newspaper particularly the negative comments received from commentators vide your online publications of the said demeaning and defamatory reports about our client. 10. Our client’s reputation and integrity as a figure in the entertainment industry has therefore been seriously maligned and irreparable injury suffered as a result of the careless, malicious and irresponsible reporting of your newspaper and its editor. This injury is certain to continue unless your newspaper publishes a timeous and prominent retraction of its unverified story immediately. 11. In view of the irreparable damage our client has already suffered as a result of the publication in question, he has hereby instructed us to make the following DEMANDS on his behalf in order for him to resolve this matter without dragging your newspaper, and its editors, before the courts for appropriate compensation for Libel: a. You must publish an immediate retraction of that report in the same prominent manner as the original report in at least 3 publications of your newspaper with at least one of those retractions to be in the FRONT PAGE and same page that first published the falsehood within the next 72 HOURS OF THE DATE OF THIS LETTER. b. A formal Letter of Apology to our client by your newspaper and the reporter on your company’s letterhead sincerely apologizing for your grave error in putting his reputation at risk. c. A fair offer of compensation and reparation for the damage already done to his reputation and future injuries that he would continue to suffer from the false publication since it is not everybody that will have the opportunity to read the retraction when published and some people already formed an opinion that may not change even with a retraction. Please be informed that should our client’s demands enumerated above not be complied with within 7-days of this letter (with the exclusion of demand A which states 72 HOURS), we would be forced to initiate action in the High Court against your newspaper and its editors for malicious libel and this will be done without any further notice to you. We are determined to fight the increasing incidents of irresponsible journalism as illustrated by this unverified, uninvestigated and malicious reporting all in an effort to boost your newspaper’s readership base and make profit at the expense of a national figure such as our client. Please take further note that should your organization refuse to accept responsibility and show sincere remorse by publishing acceptable retraction as demanded above within the time allowed, We would be seeking N1, 000, 000, 000.00 (One Billion Naira Only) in damages for malicious libel against your editors, writers and the Newspaper jointly and severally. It is our hope that you will demonstrate sufficient remorse over this grave error and endeavour to convince our client that your malicious publication against him was not a deliberate preconceived attempt to destroy our client’s reputation and career by complying with the demands above within the time given. You are advised to allow reason to prevail as you already know that our client is fully and well prepared to fight this just cause to a positive conclusion. Yours faithfully Dr. Ope Banwo [LL.B, B.L, LL.M, PH.D] BANWO & IGBOKWE, LCC (ATTORNEYS - AT – LAW) 07066482753 07058847012 "Your Body Cannot Go Where Your Eyes Have Not Been"

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