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PASTOR THREATENS TO SUE ARISE NEWS FOR $2M OVER WRONG USE OF PICTURE IN TRENDING VIDEO

A United States based Nigeria Pastor ,Dr Taiwo Adewami, has threatened to take legal action against Arise News for alleged wrong use of his photographs to broadcast a trending video in which a pastor asked his congregation to donate N310,000 each to go to heaven.One Pastor Ade Abraham, founder of Christ High Commission Mission based in Kaduna and Omuo-Ekiti in Ekiti State, in a trending video, had purportedly asked his members to contribute N310,000 each as transport fare to take them to heaven. The pastor had also asked his members to send for their relations based in foreign countries to come home and partake in the contribution.However, Arise Television, in its programme had allegedly and wrongly used the photographs of another Pastor, Dr Taiwo Adewami, as the cleric of the Christ High Commission Mission that asked his congregation to contribute the N310,000 each for the journey to heaven.Adewami, who said that he is a businessman and a pastor based in the United States of America, said that the broadcast had disparaged his person and business as well as his church; Christ Royal Assembly for All Nations International.“I have been so traumatised. I have been receiving calls and letters from various places all over the world and it’s disturbing. My business and work are being threatened. The name of my ministry; ‘Christ Royal Assembly for all Nation International has also been defamed by the trending Video”. He had asked Arise Television to pull down and remove the trending video from its mast within 72 hours and make a public apology to him within 14 days while the station should pay him the sum of Two million US Dollars ($2 million), adding that the refusal of the television station would result into legal action.A legal practitioner, Mr Akin Akintoye, SAN, said that he had received instructions from Adewami to write Arise Television and Dr Reuben Abati said that a letter had been sent to the television station and Dr Abati on the alleged defamation.Akintoye told journalists in Ilorin that “Early this morning, I received a letter from Pastor, Dr Taiwo Adewami. He’s a Nigerian based in the US. He has been in the US for quite some time now and he told me about a video clip trending on the social media and also in the print media about a pastor in Nigeria that is alleged to be scamming members, asking his congregation to pay N310,000 to take them to heaven.“According to the video clip, my client’s picture was prominently featured in it, pointing to him as the person scamming his members. From the clip, the name of the pastor was Ade Abraham but my client’s name is Taiwo Adewami, incidentally, he’s also a pastor but based in the US, the name of his ministry is different from that of Ade Abraham, I have his instruction to get across to Arise TV and ask for immediate retraction of his photographs from the video clip which is disparaging his image and his reputation and the anchorperson in the video clip, in the person of Reuben Abati.“According to my client, he said he has made a disclaimer on his Facebook page to that broadcast that is trending now. One or two persons have written to Arise TV to pull it down, but till now, it’s still trending. Arise TV and Reuben Abati will be hearing from us very shortly, if they fail to comply, we will slam a lawsuit against them. Within the next 72 hours within the time they receive the letter, the retraction should be done. They should tender apologies and give it the same publicity this video has gotten. This is in addition to a claim of damages in dollars. If they cooperate with us, we’re asking for a minimum of two million dollars.“Already, my client is so traumatized. He has been receiving calls and letters from various places and it’s disturbing him a lot. His business and work are being threatened.“The name of my Client’s ministry is Christ Royal Assembly for all Nation International while the name of Ministry of Ade Abraham is Christ High Commission Mission based in Kaduna and maybe Ekiti State. The two ministries are different.“Why would my client’s picture be so prominent as the person they’re referring to, and there is no other picture they put there that will make people to chose between the pastor that perpetrated the act and my client.“I expect they should have done their investigation properly to see that the picture they got marches with the name of the pastor. How they arrive at using the picture of my client as the person they are referring to beats one’s imagination. This is a deliberate attempt to disparage him, It’s not a mistake,” Akintoye said.

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