This statement from the office of Mr Obaigbena is in response to the press statement released by Jan Malan that I posted yesterday. If you missed it, read it here
Your publication of the PRESS STATEMENT of JAN MALAN refers:
1. The allegations of a completely libellous nature continue to be made against ARISE Magazine and Nduka Obaigbena by South African based Jan Malan of Umzengeli Productions which has found its way onto your website;
2. It is now alleged, falsely and maliciously, that we owe Mr Malan $300,000 for fashion shows he helped to produce in New York and Paris in 2010. He had previously said we owed $400,000 and $600,000 respectively in his moving imagination: the reality is that we have already paid Mr Malan a total of over $2,500,000 for these shows;
3. He is now attempting to extract, by attempted blackmail, an arbitrary sum plucked from the air - an afterthought, an additional $300,000. In his first letter of blackmail asking us to pay or he will use the press against us, he claimed $400,000! Earlier he had claimed $600,000!!
4. The fact is that we have NOT dishonoured any financial commitment. Rather, we have seriously challenged him over inflated invoices (fraudulent mark-up of third party invoices) and overpayment charges. We have in fact challenged him several times to provide PROOF, but no proof has been produced;
5. It is a fact that in March 2011, this year, Malan approached Nduka Obaigbena in Lagos to ask if he could help stage our latest NY show. We declined. This was after he was invited to produce Black Coffee and Ashes, as our finale in Lagos.
6. Rather than discuss these commercial issues sensibly round a table, Mr Malan has resorted to libel and attempted blackmail to get his way through the press. which most have stayed away from;
7. Mr Malan has also disseminated his untrue and damaging allegations in certain public quarters in the hope that we would capitulate. But his game has gone far enough and we have now instructed our legal team to launch a libel action in addition to suing him in his South African Courts.
8. How is it that after we paid Jan Malan over $2,500,000 (two million five hundred thousand US Dollars), would $300,000 be an issue? The truth is WE are the victims of fraud and over-invoicing!
Office of Nduka Obaigbena
Leaders & Company Ltd.,
35 Creek Rd,