A sheriff of the Lagos State High Court, Inusile Babatunde, has accused Nollywood star, Mrs Elizabeth Anjorin Lawal, popularly known as Lizzy Anjorin, of evading court processes in the N30 million defamation suit filed against her.
She was dragged before the court by a Canada-based Yoruba art and culture promoter, Mr. Joel Olaniyi Oyatoye, popularly known as “Baba Asa.” But attempts to serve the actress court processes have been unsuccessful, said the sheriff. Babatunde made the allegation in his six-paragraph affidavit sworn to on August 10, 2021, and filed in support of an ex-parte motion seeking to serve the court process on the defendant by substituted means.
He averred that he had made frantic efforts to serve the actress with court processes on several occasion but she allegedly made herself inaccessible. He stated that the last attempt to serve the defendant was made on July 27, 2021 at her business address, Lizzy Anjorin Clothings, Road 5, Shop ‘I’ 323, Ikota Shopping Complex, located at VGC Lekki, Lagos State. On that day, he said, he met with the defendant’s salesgirl who confirmed that her boss was around. But after calling her on phone she allegedly avoided the service of the court processes.
Besides, the deponent averred that many unknown people had called him, claiming to be lawyers to the defendant and requested that the court processes should be handed over to them. But he requested a power of attorney from Anjorin, which they fail to produce.
In the claimant’s application pending before Justice Josephine Oyefeso, seeking to serve Anjorin by substituted means, “Baba Asa” prayed court for an order granting him leave to serve the court process on the defendant by pasting it in a conspicuous place at the mentioned address.
In the substantive suit numbered LD/ADR/3481/2021, he is asking the court to compel Lizzy Anjorin to pay him N30 million for alleged defamation. In his February 23 statement of claim, a 13-paragraph affidavit, he alleged that the defendant defamed him on her social media page.
“Baba Asa” averred that he became conversant with the actress in the course of his business as a promoter and enabler of Yoruba art, culture and tradition in 2018 when he was preparing to organise the annual Asa Day for 2018 in Canada. He noted that the actress was contacted to participate in the event and all issues relating to her participation and engagement in the Asa Day 2018, were sorted out effectively and conclusively.
But on January 30, 2021, several of his acquaintances informed him that they saw a post on social media attributed to the actress titled “The Fraudster of Manitoba and the Fraudster of Winnipeg” in which the defendant alleged that Baba Asa perpetrated a fraud on her and people connected to her. The claimant averred that there was no justification for the defendant to issue the post regarding his personality, adding that the content of the post was damaging to and disparaging of his character.
Baba Asa further stated that in response, he briefed his counsel who wrote Lizzy Anjorin on February 1, and the letter was delivered to the actress at her business address in Lekki. He alleged that despite receiving the letter, the defendant again went ahead to issue, publish and commission further defamatory posts against him.