Following a threat by John Abayomi, the Online Editor for Punch Newspapers, to sue the publisher of Linda Ikeji blog, Linda Ikeji, for publishing a false and malicious story about him, the blogger has retracted her claims citing errors.
In the retraction published on her blog, Linda Ikeji wrote:
In an article on Linda Ikeji’s Blog titled “LIB exclusive: Meet the owner of Instablog9ja – John Abayomi” published on November 15, 2018 John Abayomi was mistakenly identified by his picture as the owner of Instablog9ja.
This mistake was as a result of the exact similarities in the names of John Abayomi who is an Online Editor with Punch and another John Abayomi Aruleba who is the actual owner of Instablog9ja.
The picture identification mistake from our staff was sadly as a result of the uncanny yet not uncommon similarities in the names of these two individuals.
LIB is happy to set the record straight, take full responsibility for the mix-up as we tender our unreserved apology to John Abayomi of Punch Newspapers for any inconvenience this mistake has caused.
Our publication was meant to reveal the identity of John Abayomi Aruleba (pictured above), the owner of instablog9ja who shares the same business address as his father, Dr Aruleba owner of Aruking herbal herbs with business address in Lagos.
The fact however still remains that John Abayomi Aruleba runs Instablog9ja with his partner, Tosin Dotun Adeyemi
Abayomi through his lawyer, Falana and Falana’s Chambers, had claimed that the publication with the headline, ‘LIB Exclusive: Meet the owner of Instablog9ja-John Abayomi’ has put his life and that of his family in danger.
In the letter delivered to the blogger on Friday, Ikeji was asked to tender an unreserved apology within forty-eight hours or risk legal action.
Linda in the said publication had claimed that ‘the owner of instablog9ja is John Abayomi, a former online editor of Vanguard news and current online editor of Punch’.
However, Falana said the statement is untrue and unfounded, but only calculated to lower Abayomi’s esteem and damage his reputation and professional career.
“Your publication has put him in the harm’s way, thereby endangering his life and the lives of his family members. It has also attracted a lot of negative reactions from members of the public including celebrities who has been eager to know the face behind the blunt and sarcastic blog because of the method of reportage”.
“Your mendacious publication was clearly actuated by malice in that it was deliberately done to portray our client as an imposter, a fraudster and a blackmailer”
“In the light of the foregoing, we have our client’s firm instructions to demand an unqualified apology together with a retraction of the libelous publication in the edition of your blog (Linda Ikeji blog) in addition to having the retraction published on Instagram.
“However, if you fail or refuse to accede to our client’s demands within 48 hours of the receipt of this letter, we shall have no option than to initiate civil proceedings against you at the Lagos State High Court without further recourse to you,” reads the letter which was signed by Chukwuma Onwuemene (ESQ.).
A reliable source has also rubbished reports that Abayomi was summoned to a meeting by his employers, Punch Newspapers, over Linda Ikeji’s publication.
“It is totally untrue. There was no such meeting. John is a top-notch professional and everybody close to him, including his employers, are aware that Linda Ikeji’s publication was completely untrue,” the source said.
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