Leaked sex tape: Court awards N5m damages against Oxlade
…says singer’s action despicable, horrendous, distasteful
A Lagos High Court has awarded N5million damages against Nigerian singer and songwriter, Ikuforijimi Olaitan Abdulrahman, popularly known as Oxlade over a leaked explicit sex tape with a woman on social media app, Snapchat.
The sex tape of the singer had surfaced online in February 2022, without the knowledge and consent of the woman involved in the video.
The leaked video sparked public outrage, forcing Oxlade to issue an apology to his fans and to the woman in the video.
In a judgement dated 24th January 2023, Justice O.A Oresanya described the action of the singer in secretly recording an explicit sex with a woman and thereafter leaking it online as “despicable, horrendous, distasteful and classless.”
The victim, John Blessing had filed a suit before the court on March 15, 2022, seeking N20million damages and a declaration that the respondent’s act of recording his explicit sexual acts without her knowledge and consent amounted to flagrant contravention 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.
After hearing counsel for the plaintiff, E. T. Idemudia and O. S. Mabekoje with U. R. Michael for the respondent, the judge had set for judgment when both parties agreed to opt for amicable resolution via a consent judgement.
However, in the court’s observation, Justice Oresanya lampooned the singer and cautioned him against such act in his relationship with the opposite sex, going forward.
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,” the judge said.
Justice Oresanya also faulted Oxlade for treating the judicial process with disrespect and accused his lawyer of aiding him to desecrate the temple of justice.
“The attitude of the respondent towards the proceeding leaves much to be desired. The respondent failed to appear in this court and the only reason given for the 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 law suit or client in treating the temple of justice with disrespect and disdain no matter the status of the client in the society.
“Client comes and client goes, the legal profession and institution remains. It is also disturbing to note as part of the tardiness of the respondent and his counsel that this terms of settlement was filed in court after the Honourable Court had concluded the hearing of the matter and on the verge of delivering its judgment on the merit fixed for 16th January, 2023 in which the court would have awarded exemplary and aggravated damages far greater than the agreed settlement sum of N5million against the respondent for the alleged cruel violation of the privacy of the claimant via the online/internet publication of an explicit sex tape involving the claimant and the respondent on 9th February, 2022,” the judge said.