Report on Interest

Osinbajo threatens Google over defamatory broadcast on YouTube

By News desk

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has written a petition to Google Nigeria demanding the suspension and withdrawal of a video published by Roots TV on YouTube.

Osinbajo, in a letter to the search engine, Roots TV was said to have published a material which contained defamatory claims about him.

It would be recalled that a former national deputy national publicity secretary of All Progressive Congress(APC)Timi Frank, had claimed that Osinbajo was facing some political setbacks because he failed to give an account of the alleged N90 billion collected to prosecute the 2019 election.

However, Osinbajo through his lawyer, Femi Atoyebi & Co, solicitors, on Wednesday demanded a retraction from Google.

“It is our understanding that you have provided a platform through which an account holder named RootsTV Nigeria, an online news platform that is available through this link… is able to continuously broadcast defamatory contents,” the letter read.

“In the broadcast published on the accounts of RootsTV Nigeria on September 20, 2019, the following incorrect statements and untruths were made:

“a. Our Client was stacking up public funds from agencies directly under his supervision, with a strong insinuation that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) was the principal organ by which the alleged fraud was perpetrated.

“b. Our Client was unable to explain the alleged imbalance and discrepancies on the account of the FIRS on the interrogation of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

“c. Our Client was unable to explain the alleged failed disbursement to all beneficiaries under the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government in Adamawa State.

“Our Client, therefore, demands that you immediately remove and/or suspend the publication/broadcast of the defamatory publication on the account of RootsTV Nigeria on the platform of YouTube.”

The letter, which was signed by Osaro Eghobamien and Femi Atoyebi, said the vice-president will explore legal options if the broadcast is not removed.

It was reported on Wednesday that  Osinbajo has offered to waive his constitutional immunity to clear his name against several allegations on his person and office.

The vice president, who made this announcement in a tweet he personally authored this on Wednesday, also announced the commencement of legal action against Timi Frank and Katch Ononuju for libel and malicious falsehood.

It would be recalled that the duo of Frank and Ononuju had accused the vice president of collecting N90 billion from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to fund the 2019 presidential election.

“In the past few days, a spate of reckless and malicious falsehoods have been peddled in the media against me by a group of malicious individuals. The defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique had mostly been making the social media rounds anonymously.

“I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals, one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood,” Osinbajo said.

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