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Former NFF President Sues Davido, Demands N2.3billion in damages over a breach of performance contract

The former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has taken legal action against afrobeat musician David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, accusing the artist of an alleged breach of performance contract.

The dispute began last month in Delta State when Mr Pinnick called Davido out for not honouring an agreement for a performance during the 19th edition of Warri Again; an annual concert organised to celebrate entertainers from the Niger Delta region.

Speaking at the concert, the football administrator said Davido was paid $94,600 to perform at the event and another $18,000 for a chartered flight to convey the singer and his entourage to the concert but he failed to show up.

In a subsequent statement, Mr Pinnick also accused Davido of failing to honour agreements after getting paid to perform at the 2014 and 2019 editions of ‘Warri Again.’

Davido, in response, launched a series of social media attacks against Pinnick and threatened to expose the FIFA executive committee member’s misconduct during his time at the Nigerian Football Federation.

The singer also claimed to have spoken to the organisers about his unavailability months before the show and vowed not to refund the money paid to Mr Pinnick but would return it to the purse it was allegedly stolen from. In 2019, Mr Pinnick and four officials of the NFF were dragged to court over allegations of fraud involving the sums of $8.4m and N4 billion.

In one post on Instagram, Davido said: “If I am returning any money, I will return it to any football charity organisation. In Fact, I will double it. Mr Dream Crusher imagine how many Nigerian footballers have had their dreams crushed because a person wants to live for Ikoyi by force,” he said, allegedly referring to Mr Pinnick, who served as the president of NFF for eight years.

In another post, the musician responded to a video saying, “The man that dropped from the RR is Amaju Pinnick. He was NFF president for just eight years. He was charged for allegedly misappropriating $8.4 million paid by FIFA to NFF. I won’t mention allegations of unpaid allowances by players when he was the president. Let’s play a game.”

Mr Pinnick told a high court that these statements by Davido implied that the “former NFF president is a thief and is only able to live in Ikoyi because he crushed the dreams of several Nigerian footballers.”

“These defamatory publications and posts made by the artist when accorded their ordinary meaning portray me as a person deficient in character and integrity but also imbued with deceit, dishonesty, immoral, and fraudulent in the eyes of the right thinking members of the society,” he added.

The former NFF president went on to say due to the wide influence Davido has on social media, the singer has now subjected him to all forms of “cyberbullying, stalking, and harassment since the defamatory and incendiary posts.”

Mr Pinnick added that the singer posted the statements with the “aim of lowering the esteem of his person in the eyes of ordinary persons and generally bringing him to ridicule, derision and opprobrium.”

The claimant, represented by Kelechi Onwuegbuchulem, is demanding that the court gives Davido and his music company, Davido Music Worldwide Limited, N150 million in legal and professional fees, as well as N30 million in filing fees.

It also wants the court to order the singer “to tender a public apology on all the 1st defendant’s social media accounts/handles and in two national daily newspapers for four consecutive days, to the claimant and attendees.”

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