A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Chef Damilola Adeparusi, popularly known as Chef Dammy against Pastor Jeremiah Adegoke by the Directorate of Citizens Rights (DCR) from the Ministry of Justice in Ekiti State for alleged infringement of the chef’s rights.
In addition, the DCR is requesting N10 million in damages on behalf of the student chef.
Chef Dammy became famous after attempting a cook-a-thon challenge to break the Guinness World Record in June.
In order to stop Adegoke and the police from detaining Chef Dammy again, the DCR also requested in court that a restraining order be put into place.
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 conflict between Chef Dammy and her pastor arose in October when the 24-year-old expressed concern about purported intimidation and constant threats from those she labelled as “people of God” and her pastor.
According to the 300-level mass communication student at Federal University, Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE), she had been harassed and intimidated, which had caused her to constantly fear for her life.
The chef’s argument with her once-helpful pastor seems to have stemmed from the cook-a-thon, though the exact cause of their disagreement is still unknown.
After the chef’s public outcry, Adegoke demanded in a letter dated October 23, 2023, signed by his lawyers at Bisayo Sule & Co legal practitioners, that Chef Dammy retract the alleged defamatory statement on social media, apologise in two widely read national dailies, and pay N22 million in damages. He gave Chef Dammy seven days to comply with the demands or risk being sued.
However, in the lawsuit that DCR filed on November 24, Adegoke and Ajewole Samuel, the Commissioner of Police for Ekiti State, and the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 17 Akure, were included as respondents, while Chef Dammy was mentioned as the applicant.
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.
Ugochi Olivia Ubah is an Educator and a Writer