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 is also seeking compensation of N10 million for damages on behalf of chef Dammy who rose to fame after her unsuccessful cook-a-thon challenge to break the Guinness World Record in June this year.
Adegoke who is the head pastor of Spirit Word Global Mission, an Ekiti-based church reportedly sponsored Chef Dammy’s attempt to break Hilda Baci’s cook-a-thon record. 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. Last week, the 300-level Mass Communication student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) was invited by the police following a petition filed against her by Adegoke. The exact bone of contention between the chef and her once-supportive pastor is still vague and their dispute appears to have been a fallout of the failed 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, while 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 Chef Dammy’s fundamental human rights.