Afrobeat musician and son of legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Seun has expressed his readiness to meet Dr Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) in court over the controversy surrounding the Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) gas processing contract case.
Addressing the press on Wednesday,
January 3, 2023 at Kalakuta Museum, Ikeja, Lagos, Seun said the conference is aimed at informing Nigerians about the case and also to clarify and reinforce his position regarding statements made on Instagram about the P&ID gas processing contract case involving Dr Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Principal Partner at BA LAW LLP.
After five years of intense legal battle, Nigeria emerged victorious on October 23, 2023 in its case against P&ID Limited, which had sought the enforcement of an $11 billion debt in its favour.
On October 31, 2023, Seun Kuti took to his Instagram page to comment on the case, alleging that Ayorinde intentionally shared information with P&ID while representing Nigeria in the arbitration proceedings. However, Ayorinde through his law firm denied Seun Kuti’s allegations that its principal partner leaked documents to P&ID. Following this, Ayorinde slammed the musician with a libel and defamation of character lawsuit, which comes up for hearing in Ibadan, Oyo State on January 25, 2024.
But according to Seun, he has not committed any libel or defamation of character against Ayorinde. “All I did was read out what the UK court said in their judgment. I went through the entire 140-page document and everything I mentioned came straight from that judgment. But now, Ayorinde, who was Nigeria’s representative in the case, is dragging me to court, saying I defamed him. He even went to the police about it.
“I am surprised that despite the result of this case. No one is talking about it in Nigeria, not even a comment from the Nigerian Bar Association. In England, the case has had a serious effect on their arbitration system; from their tertiary institutions to their law institutions, the case is being analyzed to reform their system of arbitration.”
The artiste reiterated his earlier statements, expressing his unwavering dedication to the principles of transparency and justice. “I called the press here today to carry them along and be with me as the eyes and ears of the Nigerian people. I didn’t call the press to be on my side but to monitor this issue to the end, to educate Nigerians to open their eyes,” he declared
Seun said he has been summoned by the police to appear at 11am on January 4, 2024 and he will be there physically, unwavering and without chickening out. He further emphasized his belief in the righteousness of his statements, underscoring his intention to fight for what he deems to be in the best interest of the country.
“My interest is the interest of any patriotic citizen of this country; anyone who is patriotic should be interested in this case. As a patriotic citizen deeply committed to the wellbeing and integrity of our nation, I believe in the importance of raising concerns about issues that affect the nation’s interests.”
While calling for an open and fair investigation into the allegations, ensuring that justice prevails without compromising the nation’s interests, Seun said he found it surprising that Dr Ayorinde could file a libel and defamation of character lawsuit against him, especially considering the fact that the 140-page court judgment was already in the public domain.
He also questioned the choice of Oyo State as the location for the hearing of the case, noting that both parties involved in the case are residents of Lagos.
Nevertheless, the Afrobeat crooner expressed his optimism, saying, “I stand by everything I have said on the case. I am ready to meet him in the court and I am optimistic that I will win this case because it runs in my family to fight against cases like this that affect the nation’s interest.”
Seun expressed his unwavering commitment to supporting initiatives that foster the betterment of the country, promising to continue advocating for the values he believes are vital for the growth and progress of Nigeria.