Veteran musician, Onyeka Onwenu, has vowed not to obey an order given by Justice I. O. Akinkugbe, of the Ikeja High Court.
Akinkugbe, who was the presiding judge in a defamation of character suit filed against her by Chief Tony Okoroji, ordered her to publicly apologize and pay N5m to the latter.
Onwenu has however refused to follow the instruction, stating that the judgement was bias. She mentioned that she is going to appeal against the ruling.
“The judgment given by Justice Akinkugbe is most unfair and cannot stand. Throughout the trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer kept referring to the fact that I was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party and my appointment to office as Director General of the PDP but that I was serving under an APC Government.”
“My lawyer raised an objection as we did not think that my party affiliations had anything to do with the case at hand. But the judge to our consternation allowed that line of questioning. I am waiting to receive a copy of the judgment, at which point I will have more to say.”
“For now, I am certain that this judgment cannot and will not hold based on the fact that we were able dismiss the allegations convincingly and unequivocally. We are appealing the judgement, of course.”
She vehemently stated her innocence in the case, also adding that she would seek justice from higher authority such as the Supreme Court if needed.
According to Onwenu, she will provide evidence that the allegations levelled against her in connection with the defamation suit is false.
“Mr. Tony Okoroji says a lot of things but he does not mean them. I shall provide a full rebuttal of the campaign of calumny that he is putting out against me in the aftermath of this judgment and more shall be revealed.”
“I hold no personal grudge against him, my quarrels with him have always been on issues of probity and fair play.”
“I have been very much there for Okoroji for so long and in many more ways than I care to remember.”
“I respect his intellect and I’ve said so on many fora, but I will not stand by and watch him attempt to destroy the very reputation that he has found and made use of personally and officially in the past.”
“Some of us left the Performing Musicians Employers’ Association of Nigeria for him to run aground, in order to avoid his trouble. He is hoping we will do the same with regard to the Copyright Society of Nigeria. That wish will not be granted.”
In his reaction to Onwenu’s comments, Okoroji said he is ready to match the singer at any level she wishes to go.