N5m defamation suit: Ebenezer Obey wades into Onwenu-Okoroji feud

Music legend and chairman of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) Advisory Board, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi, has waded into the feud between veteran musician, Ms Onyeka Onwenu and COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, urging the two parties to embrace peace.

Obey told R that the fight was uncalled for, adding that “no matter what happened, we must be able to bring ourselves back as a united and indivisible family. Because we have tried once and if what we did didn’t yield result, we still have to press forward. I want to arrange another peace meeting to involve some of the elders in the industry. A proverb says, ‘We don’t come back from the court and still be friends’ and that is why we must find a way out not to allow anything to divide us. I recalled that we waded into the matter before, but it seems the duo needed to be talked to and as a family, we must always realise that peace is always better than war. I pray the Lord will help us to solve this matter.”

The feud between Okoroji and Onwenu over a N5 million defamation suit slammed on the latter by a High Court took a new turn last week with Onwenu insisting that the judgement was unjust and vowed to appeal it.

Trouble started when Onwenu pulled out of the election of Board of Directors of COSON held on May 8 2012. Onwenu claimed that she pulled out of the election after it became clear that it had been manipulated and her dream of becoming the Chairman of the board had been dashed.

She was said to have been offered an appointment into an Elders Advisory Council after she had lost out at the election but she rejected it, claiming that she heard about the Elders Forum for the first time in Okoroji’s welcome address at the election venue and since he did not inform her or sought her consent before conscripting her into the set up, she rejected it.

The Judge of the Ikeja High Court, Justice I.O Akinkugbe, had ordered the frontline singer and politician to pay the sum of N5 million as damages and tender a public apology to Chief Okoroji to be published in newspapers for defamation of character of Okoroji.