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Bishop Oyedepo’s lawyer: A ‘witch slap’ is not a human rights violation, so ‘Miss Justice’ can’t sue

by Tolu Orekoya

Let the legal manouevering begin.

Bishop David Oyedepo, of the infamous witch slap incident has made a move to get the N2 billion lawsuit dismissed. The founder and president of the Living Faith Christian Church International (worth billions of naira) was seen in a video slapping a young lady who was a self-professed “witch for Jesus”, which went viral earlier this year.

Robert Igbinedion filed a suit on behalf of the young woman (who became known by the name Miss Justice) asking for not just billions of Naira, but also asked for a public apology  on the  incident to appear in 2 daily newspapers, and on one satellite TV station. He filed the suit stating that Oyedepo violated her fundamental rights to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, human dignity, fair hearing, and freedom from discrimination.

The high-flying bishop filed a preliminary objection at the Ogun State High Court stating that neither he nor his church could be sued because the ‘witch slap’ clearly recorded on video did not come under chapter 4 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution, as it was an assault on her person.

According to the counter affidavit deposed by Olugbenga Adegboye and obtained by Premium Times:”The cause of action or principal claim in this application centres merely on slapping one Miss Justice by the 1st respondent.

“The slapping of Miss Justice is an act that could be described as an assault which is a criminal offence punishable under the criminal code [text missing]. We submit that slapping being an act of assault an item outside the provisions of Chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution and the African Charter, this court therefore lacks jurisdiction over same.”

For all the lawyers out there, is that right? A slap cannot be considered a human rights violation and the court, therefore, cannot preside over the case of Miss Justice?

It’s also strange that the lawyer cites the slap as assault, and thereby admits that his client committed a crime?

The motions will be heard before the court on June 1, 2012.

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