Bayelsa Family to Sue Newspaper for Defamation


Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa

Aggrieved Egirani family of Ayama community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is set to slam a defamation lawsuit against the management of the Nigerian Observer Newspaper over a malicious publication.

The family said their attention was drawn to an online publication with the caption: ‘Curbing Domestic Violence In The Society’, in which Mrs. Daisy Egirani, the wife of one of their sons, who died last year, told the newspaper that she was tortured and physically abused by the Egirani family.

According to the report, she has a 12-year-old daughter, and after the death of her husband, her husband’s elder brothers and uncle told her that her daughter and only child must follow a tradition which requires that she gets married at the tender age of 12 years because she is not a male child; also, the mother, Daisy, must get married to the husband’s eldest brother because she did not bear him a male child.

The Nigerian Observer online opinion report claimed that her husband’s property were forcefully taken away from her. According to the report, a meeting was scheduled for July 17, 2021, for the resolution of the matter but it ended in a stalemate. Thereafter, her husband’s brothers beat her seriously and threw her out of the house.

The family members, who were shocked and appalled by the publication, said there was no truth not even remotely within their comprehension.

The family said the lady in question, their daughter in-law, fabricated the whole story for some ulterior motive best known to her because her husband, who died last year, was given a befitting burial in Abuja.

In a letter to the management of Observer dated November 15, 2021, titled ‘RE: Cease and Desist-Defamation’, the family is seeking the paper to cease and desist from making any further publication, remove the defamatory content and publish a retraction.

A letter signed by the family lawyer, Nnamdi Ebo, read: “We demand that you immediately cease and desist from

making any further statement(s) against our clients, and within seven days of the date of this letter, remove all defamatory statement(s) and related content from your online newspaper edition, publish a retraction, and notify us by email or in writing when these tasks have been completed.

“If you do not cease and desist within the above stated period, we will be forced to take appropriate legal action against you and seek all available damages and remedies.

“We have been retained by the Egirani Family of Anyama, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State of Nigeria. It has come to our clients’ attention that the online edition of your newspaper ( made false statements about them.

“The false statements were made by Mrs. Daisy Egirani, and carried by your reporters, Monday Oise and Osaretin Glory Aisosa, with the caption: ‘Curbing Domestic Violence In The Society’, upon which publication our clients retained our services on November 10, 2021.”

The family insisted that they were still wondering how and why their daughter-in-law, Mrs. Daisy Egirani, chose to produce a creatively made up and fictitious photo of herself in a supposedly battered state, told fictitious stories to the two journalists, who never cared to verify from the family before publication.