A judge of the Lagos High Court, Justice Adedayo Akintoye, has denied owning a multi-million-dollar luxury flat in the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The judge’s rebuttal followed an online newspaper publication alleging she bought a deluxe three-bed apartment on the 64th Floor of the Khalifa Tower despite her approximately $1,700 per month in salaries and allowances.
The publication claimed that Akintoye, 63, purchased the property using her Nigerian passport number with an expiry date between March 17, 2011, and March 16, 2016.
The judge is assigned to the criminal division of the Igbosere High Court of the Lagos State Judiciary.
According to the online newspaper; “Her date of birth of January 31, 1958, was also on file as the sole owner of the luxury apartment. A comparative worth of similar properties in the same Burj Khalifa building costs 11,984,888 United Arab Emirates Dirham or $3.2 million or N1.2 billion,” the publication alleged.
It claimed further that details of Mrs. Akintoye’s passport attached to records of the Burj Khalifa apartment, which was dated between 2011 and 2016, “invariably prove that the property was acquired either while she was a magistrate or after becoming a senior judge.”
But the judge, and her husband, Akindele Akintoye, described the said publication as “defamatory and injuriously false in every respect.”
They made their rebuttal in a February 24 letter by their counsel, Prof Taiwo Osipitan, SAN, adding the publication gave “the wrong impression” that both were corrupt.
They said it wrongly suggested that Justice Akintoye “utilised judicial office to acquire illicit wealth and properties with the active connivance of her husband, Mr. Akindele Akintoye who has also been presented in your company’s publication as an accessory after the fact to the alleged corrupt activities credited to his wife in the said publication.”
The lawyer said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we have specific instruction to the effect that Honourable Justice Adedayo Akintoye does not own (solely or jointly) any flat at Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Consequently, your company’s publication is therefore false in every material respect.”
The judge and her husband made three demands including: “An immediate retraction and apology for the offending publication. Monetary damages in the sum of N500 million for the injury and pain….”
In the event of the failure to comply “within 7 days” they threatened to sue for libel.”