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Justice O.A. Oresanya of a Lagos State High Court has fined singer Ikuforijimi Abdulrahman, popularly known as Oxlade, N5m for leaking an explicit sex tape with a woman on a social media app, Snapchat.
Recall that a sex tape circulated online on February 9, 2022, picturing the artiste with a lady. Oxlade came out to apologise to his fans for the act.
Delivering judgement on the suit on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, the judge described Oxlade’s action of recording the explicit sex and leaking the tape online without the consent of his partner as “despicable, horrendous, distasteful and classless.”
The suit which was filed by Blessing, on March 15, 2022, demanded N20m damages and a declaration that the respondent’s (Oxlade) act of recording their sexual acts without her knowledge and consent amounted to infringement of enabling laws and a gross violation of her fundamental rights to dignity, privacy, and freedom from discrimination guaranteed under sections 34 and 37 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Articles 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement), Act, Cap. A9, LFN, 2004.
Despite the judge being ready for judgement when the matter came up, the counsel for the claimant, E. T. Idemudia and O. S. Mabekoje, with U. R. Michael for the respondent, announced their appearance and both parties agreed to seek amicable resolution via a consent judgement.
However, Justice Oresanya lambasted the singer.
The judge said, “The action and attitude of the respondent (Oxlade), who is said to be a celebrity, is despicable, horrendous, distasteful and classless. The respondent is admonished strongly to act with utmost circumspection in his relationship with fellow humans, especially the opposite sex. What goes around comes around. I need not say more.”
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Before then, Justice Oresanya criticised the singer for treating the judicial process with disrespect and accused his lawyer of aiding him to desecrate the temple of justice.
The judge said, “The respondent failed to appear in this court and the only reason given for the respondent’s absence by his erstwhile counsel was the celebrity status of the respondent, which to my mind cannot be equated to that of many notable celebrity artistes in this country who have comported themselves well respectably both within and outside of this country.
“Counsel, as ministers in the temple of justice, should never encourage any party to a lawsuit or client in treating the temple of justice with disrespect and disdain no matter the status of the client in the society.”
The judge thereafter entered the terms of settlement dated January 11, 2023, as the judgment of the court.
“By the consent judgement, Oxlade is to pay damages to the tune of N5m to the claimant in two instalments of N2m and N3m respectively,” Oresanya added.