Rev. King Demands Public Apology From Kaduna State Police Commissioner …Gives 14 Days Ultimatum
He was sentenced to death by hanging for killing a member of his church in addition to a 100-year jail term on five counts of murder, setting members of his church on fire and allegedly committing fornication, an act which led to the death of one of them, Ann Uzor King.
Briefing newsmen at a press conference organized by his family members in collaboration with his counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo in Lagos yesterday, Rev. King stated that the offensive publication was based on statements made by Mr. Muhammed while addressing newsmen on the Kaduna jail break.
Based on this, the embattled reverend has given Muhammed 14 days from yesterday, May 7, 2010 to retract the said publication and tender apology to him for the attack on his reputation, failing which legal action will be instituted against him.
He condemned the action of the commissioner for giving him a bad name, noting that it was reckless of him to have said “anywhere he goes, there is always trouble.”
Speaking through his counsel, Rev. King stated that the publication which was motivated by mischief and venomous animosity against him, was another one in a series of sponsored mendacious publications against him calculated to paint him black in the eyes of the public and prejudicially affect the fair determination of his appeal by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal later this year.
Ojo further noted that information gathered from Kaduna Prison established with compelling finality, that his client had been moved from Kaduna Prison to Katsina Prison three days before the ill-fated jail break where lives were lost.
His words: “It is regrettable that the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police who claimed that Rev. Dr. King had been fingered in the jail break did not deem it necessary and wise to verify the truth.
“I urge members of the public to disregard the earlier mentioned false, malicious and ill-motivated publication against him.”
Ojo stressed that the pending appeal is a continuation of his client’s dissatisfaction with what he considered and still considers as unreasonable and unwarranted, his conviction by the High Court.
“We call on all and sundry to refrain from any act of mendacious publication calculated to interfere with or capable of interfering with the fair consideration and determination of Rev. King’s appeal in spite of his unshakable trust in the ability of the Court of Appeal not to allow itself to be prejudiced against him by such reckless and ill-founded publication or similar publication,” he said.
Ojo further revealed that shortly after his client’s conviction by the High Court, he received a phone call from one of the prosecuting witnesses asking him to beg Rev. King that they were told to lie and all she said in the court against him were fabricated.
He further disclosed that the motion for Rev. King’s appeal has been fixed for May 24, 2010 at the Lagos State Court of Appeal.
“With this good development, the appeal will be heard before judges go on vacation and may be concluded before the end of the year,” Ojo said.
It would be recalled that the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Muhammed had told journalists after the incident that the riot was triggered by the transfer of one of the condemned convicts of the prison.
Muhammed said: “From what I learnt, they said one Rev. King, who is known to be a notorious person, was the cause of the trouble. He has served in Lagos and other prisons.
“Wherever he was taken, he was always a problem. So two days ago they had cause to transfer him to Katsina Prison because he was causing havoc there.”