Nigerian singer Afeez Fashola, widely known as Naira Marley, has accused Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo of defamation and libel against him.
The singer is demanding a public apology from the actress and has threatened legal action seeking N500 million in damages if she fails to apologize.
In a letter sent to Ojo, Naira Marley’s lawyer, Olalekan Ojo, outlined the accusations made in a September 2023 post, where the actress allegedly accused Naira Marley of engaging in spiritual and physical dealings with the late singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad.
The lawyer also claimed that the actress accused Naira Marley of causing mental harm to the late singer.
Referring to some of Iyabo Ojo’s online posts, the lawyer representing Naira Marley requested that the actress publish an apology on her official Instagram account and in a national daily within seven days of receiving the letter.
Failure to comply would result in legal proceedings, with the demand for damages of N500 million from the actress, along with a court injunction preventing Iyabo Ojo from making similar libelous statements.
The lawyer’s letter reads in part, “We are Solicitors to Azeez Fashola (a.k.a. Naira Marley), an internationally renowned British and Nigerian Singer/Artist with over seven million followers, pursuant to whose instruction we write concerning the above-headed subject matter.
“It is necessary to preface this letter by stating that in recognition of the iconic status of our client, the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) engaged him to use his skills and platforms to put out content that will discourage millions of his followers and Nigerian youths from substance abuse.
“It is our instruction that sometime in September 2023, you maliciously and falsely published, of and concerning our client on your official Instagram handle ‘iyaboojofespris,’ the following words: ‘and destroying their lives and leaving them without a kobo to get help…….you go still explain taya bcos evidence dey, that your interview you go still re-do am again…….make we get justice for Mohbad first’.
“It is unarguably clear that the above-quoted words are, in their ordinary and natural meanings, meant or were understood to mean by ordinary right-thinking members of the public who have read the post that our client is a drug addict and that he laced the food and drinks which our client gave to the boys staying with him with drugs with the resultant effect of occasioning monumental destruction of their lives.
“Your publication of the above words on the internet, which is readily accessible to users of the system, constituted a very serious libel and has caused our client colossal damage to his reputation.
It is clear that the above-quoted publication, which has been read by countless internet users globally, is defamatory of our client and has brought him to public ridicule and contempt with the resultant damage to our client’s reputation.”