Thursday, January 30, 2020 12:28 pm
Mr Femi Falana, human rights fighter and Senior Advocate of Nigeria and The Guardian Newspapers Limited were, untill late last year, at each other’s jugular.
This was over a N500 million libel suit that Falana slammed on the newspaper because of a story, “Fayose urges government to probe Falana over property purchase,” which the newspaper published on 28 November 2017.
Thus, in January 2018, Falana made a beeline for the Ikeja High Court, asking it to make The Guardian to, apart from paying N500 million, refrain from publishing or causing to be published the said or similar words defamatory of the lawyer.
However, the two parties agreed to settle out of court, with the following terms:
1. The Guardian shall publish on the 28th of May 2019, a retraction in the newspaper in respect of the story in question.
2. The retraction/apology shall read thus:
Re: “Fayose urges government to probe Falana over property purchase,”
In our publication titled, “Fayose urges government to probe Falana over property purchase,”, we reported the call by Ex- Governor Ayodele Fayose for the probe of Mr Femi Falana, SAN, over a property allegedly bought from the Economioc and Foanncial Crimes Commission(EFCC).
Having confirmed that Mr Falana did not purchase any property from EFCC, we hereby retract the publication.
We apologise for any embarrassment the publication might have caused Mr Falana.
3. That The Guardian published the said retraction/apology on 28 May 2019 in the terms agreed.
4. That Falana was fully satisfied with the retraction/apology so published and “therefore relinquishes his claim” against the newspaper.
5. That the parties agreed that these terms shall form and comprise the judgment of the court in “respect of the defendants” (The Guardian).
True. So, on 13 November 2019, Hon Justice A.O Opesanwo adopted the terms of settlement and pronounced “the same as the judgment of the court in the suit.”
See all relevant court papers below: