Linda Ikeji to appeal, says judgment obtained without her knowledge of suit
By Jeph Ajobaju, Chief Copy Editor
Nigerian rich girl blogger Linda Ikeji says she will appeal the N25 million court ruling obtained against her by the daughter of former Oyo Governor Abiola Ajimobi partly because the “idiot” lawyer of the plaintiff never informed her of the lawsuit.
Ikeji decried in a tweet law firm Olaniwun Ajayi LP for “using my name to catch clout like this on social media, gloating and happy” after the law firm tweeted that it “is happy to have successfully represented Mrs. Ajibola Ajayi [nee Ajimobi].”
“Is this how you announce all your victories? I should sue you for using my name like this,” Ikeji threatened.
She said the law firm had filed the same case in both Lagos and Abuja High Courts and “then you don’t even inform me? Hope you’re ready for appeal and supreme court? And a countersue? Tell your client to get ready!”
An Abuja High Court on 12 April ordered her to pay general and exemplary damages of N25 million and publish a written apology to Ajayi over a publication that was made on lindaikejisblog.com on 15 January 2017.
Ikeji further reported that Ajayi described protesting students of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso as a “Generation of Mannerless Children”.
“The mother of twins said this on Instagram after a video surfaced that showed Governor Abiola Ajimobi talking down on the students went viral,” the blog claimed.
Ajayi denies ownership of Instagram account
After the publication was made, Ajayi issued a statement that the Instagram page, ‘conceited_csj’, does not belong to her, according to reporting by Nairametrics.
She said: “My attention has been drawn to a series of publications on social media and the Internet at large, which claim that I, Mrs Ajibola Ajayi (formerly known as Miss Ajibola Abiola-Ajimobi)? lambasted? and ? lashed out? at LAUTECH students calling them ?a manner less generation ? on my instagram page?”
“I wish to state that this story is completely false. It is malicious and willfully targeted at maligning and marring my character. This is an example of irresponsible journalism that has now incited hatred and violence against my husband, my children and myself.
“Over the last 48 hours my reputation has been tarnished and my family and I have been subjected to cyber bullying and harassment. I have also received threats of violence as well as limitless insults as a result of this false publication.
“This has now spiraled out of control hence I feel the need to publicly address it since I have received numerous calls from various people, including friends, family members, colleagues and clients.
“I wish to further state that the instagram page referred to as ?conceited_csj? through which it was alleged that I made the purported statement does not belong to me. “Having once been a student myself, I am sympathetic to the plight of the LAUTECH students and empathize with them.”
Law firm’s take on court judgment
“Olaniwun Ajayi LP is happy to have successfully represented Mrs. Ajibola Ajayi, the Claimant in Suit No. FCT/CV/667/2018: Mrs Ajibola Ajayi v. Linda Ikeji in an action filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja,” the law firm tweeted.
“In the action, the Claimant had sued Ms. Linda Ikeji in respect of the defamatory article published in the latter’s blog, https://t.co/96s6uH3OKc on 15.01.17 and 17.01.17 which cited Mrs. Ajibola Ajayi as having described protesting students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, as a “generation of mannerless children” in an Instagram post with the username “conceited_csj”.
“In the judgment delivered on 12.04.2022, the Court held that the publication by Ms. Ikeji was false and malicious and that the evidence before the Court showed that the Defendant knew that the Instagram account with the username “conceited_csj” did not belong to the Claimant.”
The law firm said the court held that the publication was made available to readers worldwide, which exposed Ajayi to ridicule from members of the public who read the article.
“In reiterating the trite principle of law that libel is actionable per se, the Court awarded general and exemplary damages in the sum of N25,000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Million Naira) against Ms. Linda Ikeji and directed Ms. Ikeji to publish a written apology to the Claimant in three National tabloids.
“The Claimant was represented in the action by our Ogunmuyiwa Balogun; and it is our belief that with Judgments like this, media outfits and members of the public will verify sources of their information ahead of publication.”
Reaction from Linda Ikeji
“Lol. You’re such an idiot lawyer. I hear you’re an inexperienced 26 year old? How can you file in Lagos and Abuja on the same issue?
“And then you don’t even inform me? Hope you’re ready for appeal and supreme court? And a countersue? Tell your client to get ready!” Ikeji tweeted.
“Also if you’re using my name to catch clout like this on social media, gloating and happy… does this mean I’m the biggest client your firm has ever sued and won against?
“Or is this how you announce all your victories? I should sue you for using my name like this.”