Penpushing: We stand by our story on “Anger over Nigerian wife’s secret burial of 72-year-old husband in Canada”

The management of Penpushing Media received your letter dated August 5, 2021 with great dismay, particularly the use of uncouth and indeed derogatorily libelous remarks which we considered highly unfortunate, offensive and embarrassingly egregious.

Limpidly, some of your disparaging comments are suable, and of course justiciable, too.  We are already, in order to protect our brand name, in consultation with our counsel to genuinely consider libel case as appropriate route to dissuade your client (Ekitikete Canada) from such defamatory publication on a newspaper which authored authentic and undeniable story over the death of Dr. Pius Ilesanmi Onile.

Indeed, we would have ignored responding to you because your full identity is shrouded in secrecy since your mailing address, showing your physical office presumably in Canada, was missing in the possibly hurried “computer contrived letterhead.”  But, because of our sincerity and the need to show that we are ready to defend our published stories, we decided to offer you elucidation on your misconception and paucity of knowledge about journalism practice.

Lush Arena

In fact, as a diligent team of experienced journalists managing Penpushing, while we do not want to dabble into the management of Ekitikete Canada affairs, some of the facts which are at our disposal, we are quite aware – through our profound investigative lens – that in Canada while Cosmas Anthony, the presumed counsel to the association, is associated with phone number +1647.760.0838 there is apparently one Ademola Adesina with similar cellphone number.  Additionally, indeed, we are at a loss why Cosmas (the counsel) failed to disclose his full identity and key involvement in Ekitikete Canada in the letter, if any.

However, while we hereby categorically declare that we stand by our story as published on July 29, 2021, kindly permit us to educate, and discourage, you from embarking on your futile, unsound, and ill-advised agitative efforts (or threat) over the publication.

No doubt, our media organisation painstakingly took the necessary steps, in line with journalism ethics, regarding the story before publication.  Even, we waited for three weeks for Mrs. Rachael Adetutu Onile to respond, but to no avail.  Up till now she still has the right of reply and we are awaiting her.

Obviously, we are not obliged, under the relevant extant laws both in Nigeria and Canada, to disclose our “confidential sources” of information, as we, once again, affirm that the contents of our story are absolute truth that are full of undeniable facts.  This, without any ambiguity, is contrary to your submission, on behalf of your client, that “the publication is a complete lie and fabrication of the imagination of the news reporter responsible for the report, and Penpushing subsequently,” and “a bunch of lies, a defamation of Ekitikete character, a malignment of a brand name.”

As a matter-of-factly, we strongly believed that as the claimed counsel, with accolades of legal education, to Ekitikete Canada, you were expected to be knowledgeable enough to realise that Penpushing did not attribute the source of its information to the association, as an entity (contrary to your erroneous submission that “Ekitikete Canada NEVER spoke to Penpushing or any news organisation about the Onile family!”) but “aggrieved members” within your autochthonous group.

Furthermore, as counsel, and by your listed attainments in legal education, you should know that your unjustifiable demand to unearth our impeccable sources is against the extant laws in Nigeria and Canada.  Under applicable legislations, there is immunity of absolute privilege confidential sources which prevents us from disclosing “off-record” information.  To educate you briefly on this, for instance, let us refer you, and Ekitikete Canada, to the Supreme Court of Canada judgement in Denis v. Côté, 2019 SCC 44.

Moreover, your jejune claim of an existing “original version” to Penpushing story is surprising.  Probably, you were ostensibly distracted when reading the story otherwise, you would have conspicuously seen your inattention to details, because the portion referring to “…Emure-Ekiti like us” is still existing as originally published.  And if, apparently possible, by virtue of your legal prowess, you can produce the “original version” now or probably at trial – which we are quite sure will be an exercise in futility – we can discern who is under incredible illusionary sojourn to untruthfulness.

Unarguably, nowhere in the story did we mention that the death and, or, burial of the late Dr. Pius Ilesanmi Onile was discussed “in Ekitikete Canada meetings”, but – at this juncture – we decline to further raise issues on this matter until the purported justiciable “next line of action”.

Without any doubt, we would unequivocally and sincerely advise against any unworthy impending legal move, since we are overtly confident in defeating your client and ensuring the court award the deserved costs against Ekitikete Canada for wasting our time, and that of the court, on this futile and deliberate attempt and shenanigan move.

Finally to us, your letter is a grand design, and unwarranted move, to stifle our reportorial responsibilities as enunciated and guaranteed under ss.22 and 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and specifically, in respect of journalists’ protection s.39 of the Journalist Source Protection Act S.C. 2017, c. 22.

Thank you.

Management (Penpushing Media)

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