Just a week after Bianca Ojukwu threatened a lawsuit over a “sexual relationship” comment about her by Nigeria’s former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, he has withdrawn the controversial comment.
In a statement through his lawyer, Rotimi Akinola, on Thursday, Mr.
Fani-Kayode accepted that he erred by making the comment but said it was
“bizarre, absurd and inexplicable” that the wife of the late Biafran
warlord, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, claimed they were never
“As our client said earlier through his press secretary some of the
words he used to describe his friendship with Ambassador Ojukwu in his
article titled ”A Word For Those Who Call Me A Tribalist” were
indiscreet,” Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer said in the statement.
“He hereby withdraws those words,” he added.
One of those who initiated the peace moves but pleaded not to be named
said both parties were cooperating with the efforts at reconciling them.
He said the statement by Mr. Fani-Kayode’s lawyer was part of the measures suggested by the mediators.
A few weeks ago, Mr. Fani-Kayode had written the article where he
sought to allay the outrage caused by an earlier controversial piece
titled ‘The Bitter Truth About the Igbos.’
In the article, Mr. Fani-Kayode had disclosed that he had had a “long
standing and intimate relationship” with Mrs. Ojukwu, former beauty
queen and daughter of a state governor in the Second Republic.
The claim angered Mrs. Ojukwu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Spain, who
directed her lawyers to request Mr. Fani-Kayode to retract his
In his statement on Thursday, Mr. Fani-Kayode, who was also a Minister
of Culture and Tourism, insisted that he knew Mrs. Ojukwu in the early
to mid-80′s when he was a student at London University and Cambridge
“They were good friends at the time and they had a few mutual friends
who are still alive today,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said through his lawyer.
“The bizarre, absurd and inexplicable assertion that they were not
friends and that Ambassador Ojukwu has never met our client is patently
“Though he has not seen her for over 25 years he spoke to her on the phone when her husband passed on last year,” he added.
Last week, Mrs. Ojukwu’s lawyers, Wall Street Attorneys, in an
advertorial in a national newspaper threatened to commence a legal
action against the controversial ex-minister if he fails to retract his
The lawyers stated that their client was “outraged” and “embarrassed” by Mr. Fani-Kayode’s claims.
“In the circumstances, we demand, on the instruction of our client that
you submit to her (Mrs. Ojukwu) a clear and unquantified apology and
retraction published in The Sun and Thisday newspapers in addition to
having the retraction published online,” the lawyers had said.
“Take note that should you fail to tender the apology and publish a
retraction of your false and malicious publication, seven days after
your receipt of this demand notice, our further instructions are to seek
appropriate redress in court. And that shall be without further
recourse to you. Be properly guided,” they had added.