OBJ To Launch "My Watch" In The UK
Former president of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is to read extracts from his latest book of memoirs, My Watch, to an audience in the United Kingdom on Wednesday evening, February 11, despite being found of guilty of contempt in Nigeria for launching his autobiography in defiance of a court order.
According to The Daily Times, Obasanjo is billed to launch the autobiography at the Royal Society of Medicine in Central London, at an event to be hosted by the director of the Royal African Society. The book will be on sale after the launch.
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Justice Valentine Ashi of an Abuja High Court found Obasanjo guilty of contempt on December 10, 2014, after the former leader had defied an earlier court directive barring him from releasing the autobiography.
He had released the book the previous day at the Country Club in Ikeja, Lagos. Justice Ashi gave Obasanjo 21 days to show cause why he should not be sanctioned for the alleged disobedience.
Judiciary workers across the country began a strike before the expiration of the deadline. It was not clear at press time if a new date had been given to the contempt proceedings against the former ruler, Daily Times reports.
Prince Buruji Kasahmu, a prominent member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who Obasanjo alleged in the book to be a drug baron indicted in the US, won a court order stopping Obasanjo from releasing it. The former president went ahead to publish the book.
The PDP chieftain, a former ally of Obasanjo from whom he is now estranged, then approached the court to initiate the contempt proceedings.
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According to the Daily Times, Obasanjo’s lawyer, Realwon Okpanach, said the former president would appeal against the ruling.
He said the order, which the former president flouted, was given in error since it was not proven that the book contained libellous material.
“The orders made cannot be enforced. They want the court to stop an act that had been concluded. That is impossible. We had published the book in November, they came before the court in December and asked that the publishing be stopped. Is that possible?” he queried.
In the book, My Watch, Obasanjo is very critical President Goodluck Jonathan and claims the president turned his (Obasanjo's) daughters against him by telling them to publicly attack him.