Counsel for the late Senator Buruji Kashamu, Mr Ajibola Oluyede, said his client, before his death, withdrew the lawsuit filed against rival lotto operators in the country, including Sir Keshington Adebutu’s Premier Lotto, popularly known as Baba Ijebu.
Oluyede told The PUNCH on the telephone on Thursday that Kashamu, through his firm, Western Lotto Limited, took the decision prior to his death on August 8.
The lawyer was contacted against the backdrop of a viral video suggesting that the late Kashamu, while on his sickbed, placed a phone call to Adebutu to seek his forgiveness and pledged to drop legal actions against Premier Lotto.
In the video, Adebutu had demanded that Kashamu withdraw the court case against him in demonstration of his penitence.
The two businessmen from Ogun State were embroiled in a legal tussle in relation to the proprietary right over ‘Ghana games’.
In a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos, Kashamu’s Western Lotto accused Adebutu’s Premier Lotto and 22 other rival lotto firms of infringing on its trademark.
The court last year December granted Western Lotto an anton piller order to enter into and search the offices of the rival lotto firms for evidence of the alleged infringement on its licence on ‘Ghana games’.
Justice C.J. Aneke also dismissed the defendants’ preliminary objection, challenging the court’s jurisdiction and seeking to set aside the antom piller order.
The defendants went on appeal.
Oluyede told our correspondent on Thursday that the matter was withdrawn before Kashamu died.
He said, “There is only one action that involves Adebutu’s company; it involves all the operators as well as the lottery regulatory commission. That action was at the Federal High Court; and before Senator Kashamu departed we had discontinued the action against all the operators, including Sir Keshington’s Premier Lotto. So, there is actually, as of today, no real pending action against them.”
On the appeal filed by the defendants, Oluyede said, “The discontinuance of the case brings an end to everything. That one is now left for the Court of Appeal to decide whether they still want to continue with the appeal or the appeal is now an academic exercise. Our own position is that the appeal is now an academic exercise.”
In the video, Adebutu was seen receiving a call from Kashamu, with his mobile phone on speaker while he was being video-recorded.
In the conversation, which was majorly in Yoruba language, Kashamu profusely begged Adebutu to forgive him, saying he was ready to do as Adebutu pleased, including supporting his son, Ladi, to become the Ogun State Governor.
Meanwhile, an associate of Adebutu, Aare Kola Oyefeso, said the video was released to the public in good faith.
Oyefeso, a close ally of the billionaire businessman, confirmed that the video emanated from the Adebutu family to show the world that the duo had reconciled.
He said, “I am confirming to you on my word of honour before God and man that the video is authentic.
“It was Kashamu speaking to Sir Adebutu, not Baba speaking to Kashamu.
“On his sickbed, he realised his shortcoming and he tried to makeup and he indeed made up.”