By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Mr. Clement Umina, Cross River State Tourism Bureau Managing Director has accused Mr. Hope Obeten, the publisher of CalabarBlog and Acting Chairman of the Association of Cross River Online Journalists (ACROJ) and one Mr. Jonathan Ihgal, supposedly reporting for an unknown platform, CrossRiver Watch of defamation.
The claim, contained in a letter delivered to the Secretariat of on Friday 13th April, 2018 at about 5:17pm dated 29th March, 2018 from his lawyer, Donald Archibong, Esq. Head of Practice, DAEdal Law Firm directed the duo to retract a story which Mr. Umina said is defamatory.
Mr. Umina is said to have played a role in the exiting of the operators of the Filmhouse Cinema located in Marina Resort in Calabar, the Cross River State capital according to a joint investigation by CrossRiverWatch and CalabarBlog.
And, the letter which was delivered on the eve of the fortnight ultimatum read in part that: “the aforesaid publication brought to the notice of our Client on Friday the 9th day of March, 2018; you did not only defame our Client but you also put him out to the general public as a dishonest Cross Riverian not worthy of holding the office which he presently occupies, thereby subjecting him to opprobrium from public and private stakeholders within and without the tourism industry thereby damaging his reputation irreparably.
“It is on record that after seeking legal advice, our Client wrote to your humbleselves on that selfsame date of 9th March, 2018 expressing his displeasure over the more than a hatchet job; which sole purpose was to tarnish our Client’s image before any right thinking person. To his dismay rather a reversion from this unholy and uncharitable course, you would not as much as backdown from your unworthy cause nor come down from your high-horse, rather you chose to spew out more invectives at our Client both by yourselves and by proxy; a certain Jeremiah Archibong. For reasons of decency we have refrained from repeating those exact words or phrases which you had constantly churned out in your publications and we strongly believe that you know the implication(s) of your unthoughtful actions.
“Consequently, it is our Client’s intention to go to any and every length of clearing his good name, and hard-earned reputation. As part of this undertaking; we have his clear instruction(s) to do whatever is legally needful to clear his name and reputation which your publication has done colossal damage to. Accordingly, we demand a retrieval of that libelous publication within 14 days upon the receipt of this solicitor’s letter and a publication of an unreserved apology from you, for and on behalf of our Client. We also demand that you disseminate such an apology widely, giving it same publicity propensity as you gave to your offensive publication in the first place. TAKE NOTICE that; should you fail to accede to our very minimal demands; we have our Client’s instructions to activate the full wrath of our extant libel laws on you.”
Mr. Umina is said to have intimidated the operators of the cinema and breached an agreement between the operators and the State’s Tourism Bureau which also caused a breach in the agreement between the operators and the service providers, Tandem Integrated Services.
When reached for comments, the Acting Secretary of ACROJ, Mr. Jeremiah Archibong who is the Managing Editor of CrossRiverWatch maintained that: “We do not have the records of any organization registered as a member of ACROJ with the name CrossRiver Watch neither do we have records of anybody by the name Jonathan Ihgal that works or has ever worked for that same organization. Let Mr. Umina and his legal counsel get their facts right.”
However, he said the letter will be distributed to the affected parties on Monday as all member organizations had closed as at the time of the receipt of the letter.
Also, the management of CalabarBlog, when reached said it was yet to receive any letter from Mr. Umina or his legal representatives as at press time.
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