Lagos Businesswoman Battle Atiku Abubakar Over Unauthorised Use Of Her Photograph For Campaign

A Federal high court sitting in Lagos south west Nigeria has adjourned till  after vacation a suit instituted by a Lagos businesswoman  Mrs Amuda Adeleke against the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party  in the last general election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar over unauthorized use of her picture for campaign purposes.

 Joined as co-respondents in the ensuing legal hostility, are the Atiku’s running mate, Mr Peter  Obi,Director General, Atiku Abubakar Campaign organization, Dr Bukola Saraki and Peoples Democratic Party
The Summary of the case of the Applicant,as filed before the court by her lawyer,Barrister,Adeleke Adepoju, is that during the random campaign outreach of the Peoples Democratic Party towards the last General elections led by the officers of the Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation AACCO under the leadership of Dr Bukola Saraki led campaign to the crowd at Oyin
Jolayemi street Victoria Island Lagos State to draw support for the candidacy of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi in the 2019 general elections for the offices of the President and Vice President respectively, they informed  the crowd including herself that they were agents of the two candidates and they were leading the campaign on their behalf.
      Thereafter her picture was used without her consent on electronic billboards across the country for the campaign of the two candidates which portrayed her as a poverty stricken woman who had lost all hope and was prepared to commit suicide which has exposed her private life and affairs to the public.
       Consequently, Mrs Adeleke is demanding for the sum of N45 million payable by the respondents jointly and severally as compensation to her for the unlawful, unauthorised and unconstitutional use of her image by the respondents.
 The Applicant is also urging the court to declare that the unauthorised use,publication and display  of her image by Dr Bukola Saraki as part of the Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi presidential campaign advert constitutes a breach and an infringement of her fundamental rights to privacy as enshrined, guaranteed  and provided for in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, in a counter affidavit sworn to by a litigation secretary Mr Olufemi Akinjo  on behalf of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Mr Peter Obi and filed before the court by Mr Eyitayo Jegede SAN ,the Deponent averred that Alhaji Atiku and Obi did not meet the applicant physically or in any manner in the course of their campaign in Lagos State and neither took snapshots or photographs of the Applicant.
      Alhaji Atiku and his running mate also stated that they did not erect any billboard containing the Applicant’s picture anywhere, therefore did not invade the Applicant’s right to privacy of publishing her picture without her consent or authority,therefore there is no way they could have portrayed her as a poverty stricken woman “who has lost all hope and prepared to commit suicide. The two respondents are urging the court to dismiss the claim of the applicants against the two of them.
      Dr Bukola Saraki and the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in a counter affidavit sworn to by a legal practitioner in the legal department of PDP Mr Ademola Fanokun, and filed before the court by Mr Emmanuel Enoidem the deponent averred that the two respondents have not met the applicant before and so do not know her at all,matters of Electronic/ billboards campaigns were contracted out to Messers AHC Productions Ltd so she was contacted and interviewed by that company.
      Mr Fanokun averred further that he was informed by Tokunbo Omulekulo of the said AHC Production as follows :
   The Applicant name is not Amuda Adeleke but Tope Olukolu with GSM number 08035059775 which is the name she gave during the interview as contained in the consent agreement she signed with AHC Production.
    The applicant, her friends and neighbours, waited willingly for more than a week to get her pictures taken and interviewed for the purpose of the campaign advertisement.
       Each of the persons used for the electronic campaign advertisement were duly paid and made to sign an agreement before their photographs /images and names were used, therefore the action of the applicant is a clear case of goal digging because after the electronic /billboards campaign advertisements were on the applicant call Tokunbo Omulekulo and ask for more money to be given to her because the advertisement was more than she expected when that was not forthcoming she decided to bring the present suit using a different name from the one she used in the agreement she signed. So there was no infringement of her right in any way whatsoever.
   However, in  a further  affidavit, Mrs Adeleke averred that the totality  of the facts contained in the respondents respective counter affidavit are completely distorted, false and inaccurate,they are accordingly denied.
      She stated that, contrary to the affidavit of the respondents,her name is not Tope Olukolu and have never been called,known or associated with such name, she annex her International passport to the affidavit as a proof to show she bears Amuda Adeleke.
   She stated that she had never met any Tokunbo Omulekulo neither was she informed of the fact that her picture would be used for the electronic campaign of the PDP candidates or any other person.
      Consequently,she denied receiving any payment or signing any such agreement or at all with the respondents or the said Mr Tokunbo Omulekulo or any person whatsoever.
      Meanwhile,the court has adjourned till 17th of September, 2019 when the case will go into trial.

Post Author: Friday Ekeoba