Widely acclaimed don of banking, Jim Ovia, is in the news again. This time the powerful Chairman of Zenith Bank has gone to court to stop the publication of a biography of him written by celebrated journalist Andy Briggs.
Lagos Times scooped that the book titled Jim Ovia: Godfather of Banking is an In-depth expose of the man behind the legend of Jim Ovia. Along with the obvious highs of his rise, the book also touches on some alleged secret and salacious happenings that Jim might not want to become public knowledge. Hence once the Zenith founder got wind of the book through his “secret agents”, he immediately zoomed off to the federal high court to seek an interlocutory injunction to stop its release. .
Jim probably thought that by this action he would keep news of the book quiet but it has become clear that either him or his advisors miscalculated hugely. The case has attained celebrity status overnight especially on social media and there was huge attention during the second hearing which took place recently before Justice Hadiza Shagari of the federal high court in Lagos. No doubt everyone wants to read the book now to see what Jim is trying to hide.
Jim and his lawyers are arguing that the biography is both unauthorized and full of inaccuracies that would defame him and hurt his public image. The journalist is countering that Jim’s case is an attempt to curb freedom of expression and investigative journalism.
The billionaire banker has always been known for raising Zenith from the dust into a phenomenon that has taken the banking world by storm. Yet, the precise details of how he got to where he is has always been shrouded in mystery. The “Godfather of Banking” that was billed to be released earlier this year would have shed light on the matter but now that Jim’s lawyers are working round the clock to prevent it from seeing the light of public day, perhaps the wait will go on.
In the meantime, the weight of public opinion is against Jim this time. He has been roundly castigated for trying to suppress freedom of expression through the case, although some media houses have allegedly kept mum on the matter for fear of incurring his wrath. The 64-year old venerated banker is however unmoved by all the opprobrium coming his way. As far as he is concerned, he will keep firing his legal cannons until he torpedoes the book.
Source: Lagos Times