The Directorate of Citizens Rights (DCR) from the Ministry of Justice in Ekiti State has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Ekiti-born Chef Damilola Adeparusi, popularly known as Chef Dammy against Pastor Jeremiah Adegoke and the Ekiti State Police Command for alleged infringement of the chef’s rights.
The DCR also seeks compensation of N10 million for damages on behalf of the student chef.
Chef Dammy rose to fame after attempting a cook-a-thon challenge to break the Guinness World Record in June.
The DCR also asked the court that a restraining order be enforced to prevent Adegoke and the police from re-arresting Chef Dammy.
The lawsuit was filed barely a week after Chef Dammy was reportedly arrested on the order of Adegoke, who was her pastor.
Adegoke is the head pastor of Spirit Word Global Mission, an Ekiti-based church that reportedly sponsored Chef Dammy’s record-making cook-a-thon.
The controversy between Chef Dammy and her pastor started in October, after the 24-year-old raised alarm over alleged relentless threats and intimidation from individuals whom she tagged “people of God” and her pastor.
The 300-level Mass Communication student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) said that she had been threatened and bullied, making her live in constant fear for her life.
Although the source of the feud between the chef and her once-supportive pastor is still vague, their dispute appears to have been a fallout of the cook-a-thon.
Following Chef Dammy’s public outcry, Adegoke, in a letter signed by his lawyers, Bisayo Sule & Co legal practitioners, dated 23 October 2023, demanded a retraction of the alleged defamatory statement on social media, an apology on two widely read national dailies and payment of a sum of N22 million for damages.
He gave Chef Dammy seven days to comply with the demands or risk being sued.
However, in the suit filed by DCR on November 24, Chef Dammy was named as the applicant, Adegoke and Ajewole Samuel, the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 17 Akure, were named respondents.
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the continued harassment, molestation, threat of arrest, and intimidation by the pastor, and the Nigerian police, infringes on the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
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