A Lagos High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square has ordered On-Air Personality (OAP) Toke Makinwa to pay her former lover, fitness entrepreneur Maje Ayida N1 million for defamation.
In the suit filed before the court, Maje Ayida had alleged that his estranged wife is obsessed with social media and fame and had published a book, “On Becoming” which she purported to be a biography of her life so far.
In the book, published by Kachifo Ltd (joined as the second defendant in the suit) Ayida said Makinwa made several defamatory statements against him, including words which suggested that he was
a) a cold-hearted husband
b) a serial ‘cheat’
c) not fit and proper to work within the Health and Wellness Industry, or any related industry, having recklessly infected her with an STI
(d) was and had been a carrier of venereal or sexually transmitted disease or diseases amongst other things.
Ayida also claimed that the book had enjoyed and continues to enjoy enormous readership and considerable circulation on platforms including Amazon, iTunes, and numerous bookshops such that it can be safely presumed that over 3 million people have read the book and/ or the sensationalized extracts from the book since its publication.
As a consequence of this publication, Ayida says his hard-earned reputation has been seriously damaged as he has suffered considerable distress and embarrassment including but not limited to several calls from well-meaning Nigerians to request him to go for counselling, mental and marriage therapy sessions.
Ayida also says that the defamatory words published were accentuated by malice. He, therefore, demanded a retraction of the defamatory contents of the book, an unreserved apology and a withdrawal from circulation of all copies of the book.
He also made a monetary claim of the sum of N100,000,000.00 against the defendants for what he called aggravated and/or exemplary damages.
In his judgment, Justice Olukayode Ogunjobi held that after careful consideration of the evidence before the court, it finds that only the contents of page 54 line 11-16 and page 83, Line 1 of Toke Makinwa’s book were Defamatory.
The court also gave Makinwa 30 days to delete the said defamatory words from unsold copies of the book in her custody as well as those with her publisher, kachifo Limited.
The Court then granted damages of the sum of 500,000 Naira each to be paid by the 1st and 2nd defendants, Makinwa & Kachifo Ltd, to any charity organization of the claimants choice.
The court also granted an injunction preventing the defendants from producing copies of the book with the defamatory words.