Drama of a SLANDER (2)

(Mr. Mellow and Barr. Ojulari have met and settled the Slander dispute, Mr. Mellow has fulfilled his promise, both of him and Barr. Ojulari are inside a plane as they are being airlifted to Makkah for Hajj)

MR. MELLOW: D-law D-law!

BARR. OJULARI: Pro! Prof!

MR. MELLOW: You saved me again!

BARR. OJULARI: It is God that saved you because you are good to your lawyer, otherwise, you will have yourself to blame.

MR. MELLOW: All thanks belong God! But this Slander matter that we just settled, you told me that not every slander can lead to court action.



BARR. OJULARI: Of course, it is the law that says so.

MR. MELLOW: Would you like to let me know other utterances that can lead me into legal trouble if I say so to a person?

BARR. OJULARI: Huh! You are too sharp, because we are being airlifted together in a plane now, you are using the opportunity to seek legal information!

MR. MELLOW: (Smiles) As your Lordship pleases!

BARR. OJULARI: Anyway, Slanderous utterances that can lead to court action is called “SLANDER ACTIONABLE PER SE” in law[1].

MR. MELLOW: Huh! “SLANDER ACTIONABLE PER SE”

BARR. OJULARI: These are exceptional cases whereby Slanderous utterances can lead to court action against the person that uttered a defamatory word about another person

MR. MELLOW: OK!

BARR. OJULARI: There are four instances to that exception [2], I have told you about IMPUTATION OF CRIME, whereby a person may be alleging another person of an offence that is punishable with imprisonment, death or canning. Example of this is when someone calls another person a thief [3].

MR. MELLOW: So now, if I say that a person is a terrorist or kidnapper, does that also amount to imputation of crime?



BARR. OJULARI: Absolutely! Terrorism is a serious offence that is prohibited in Nigeria [4], which is punishable with at least twenty years imprisonment upon conviction [5].

MR. MELLOW: Really?

BARR. OJULARI: It is even serious to the extreme that a person that is found to belong to a terrorist group can be imprisoned for life [6].

MR. MELLOW: As serious as that?

BARR. OJULARI: Kidnapping on the other hand is also a felony that is punishable with ten years imprisonment in Nigeria [7][8]

MR. MELLOW: Summarily, a person should not input an assertion of guilt of a criminal offence on another person in the name of freedom of expression, unless he would be liable for defamation, am I right?

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, you are!

MR. MELLOW: I am now about to be thinking like a lawyer! (Both of them laugh). What about the remaining instances that can make a Slander to be actionable per se?

BARR. OJULARI: I have also told you about saying that a person is incompetent in his profession. Like saying that a Doctor, a Surveyor, a Teacher or even an Engineer is incompetent, just like you did to that man.

MR. MELLOW: But this is a common slang that people normally say in the public, what is that called under the law?

BARR. OJULARI: It is known as IMPUTATION AFFECTING PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS REPUTATION [9] in law, it is regarded as assertion that can affect someone in the course of someone’s profession[10]


MR. MELLOW: Okay, it remains two other instances now.

BARR. OJULARI: Saying that a person has contacted a certain contagious or repulsive disease which is untrue can also lead to court action [11]

MR. MELLOW: Like alleging that a person has contracted Ebola or Corona Virus when the truth is that such a person is healthy?

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, because it would cause others to shun or avoid such a person [12]. Would you be informed that a person is being infected with Ebola or Corona virus and any other contagious disease and you won’t run away from such a person?

MR. MELLOW: Ah! I must run for safety .

BARR. OJULARI: Okay! The last one is IMPUTATION OF UNCHASTITY OR ADULTERY[13], this is saying that a person has engaged in extra marital affairs when the person has actually not. It also include putting an allegation to a woman that she is a lesbian [14].

MR. MELLOW: Putting an allegation over a man or a woman that she has engaged in extra marital affairs has a great implication in Islamic law, it is a criminal offence that is punishable with eighty stripes [15].

BARR. OJULARI: Yes, you are right Prof! Hope I’ve been able to answer your questions. I want to rest a bit before we land.

(Barr. Ojulari put-on his noise cancelling headphones and his eye mask, he adjust his bulkhead seat and stretch his leg to sleep comfortably).

To be continued. In Sha Allah!



REFERENCES:

[1] Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996, p140.
[2] Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996, Pp140-143.
[3] Agaoka V. Ejiofor (1972) 2 E.C.S.L.R. 109.
[4]. Section 2 of the Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022.
[5] Ibid. Section 25.
[6]. Ibid. Section 25 (3).
[7] Section 364 of the Criminal Code Act.
[8]. Section 273 of the Penal Code Act.
[9]. Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996, p144.
[10] Jones V. Jones (1916) 2 A.C 451 @ p500.
[11] Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996,p 143.
[12] Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996,p136.
[13] Kodilinye and Aluko, “The Nigerian Law of Tort”, Rev. Ed., Spectrum Law Publishing, Ibadan, 1996,p 143.
[14] Kerr v. Kennedy [1942] 1 K.B. 409.
[15] Chapter 24, verse 4 of the Holy Quran

In case you missed the previous episodes, kindly access it on https://www.facebook.com/164898870886587/posts/985207718855694/?app=fbl

ABDULRAUF Abdullahi Adebayo, is a Law student, a Certified Teacher , a Content Creator , a Dynamic Writer and a Ghost Writer. He can be reached via +2349034904883 and [email protected]

One Reply to “LANGUAGE OF THE LAW – Episode 11”

  1. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. There has to be a way you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.