Businessman Wanjigi asks court to award Sh 100 million for fake obituary published in Nation

Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi wants the Nation Media Group to pay him Sh100 million for a fake obituary it published in February.

Mr Wanjigi, in his case before High Court Judge Wilfrida Okwany, argued that the advertisement had breached his right to privacy, and caused him and his family mental anguish.

To support his argument on why he should be paid the amount, he cited a United Kingdom case filed against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) by a pop singer, Cliff Richard Obe, for revealing that he was to be investigated over sex allegations in 2014.

“....Richard was famous in UK and the plaintiff has a status. He (Wanjigi) is a billionaire and we can produce statements as proof,” argued Wanjigi’s lawyer, Willis Otieno.

Mr Obe was awarded 210,000 euros (Sh24.8 million) in July this year for BBC’s infringement of his right to privacy.

According to the businessman, the obituary disclosed his home and where his children studied abroad.

Mr Otieno argued that the disclosure of his family’s whereabouts was a breach of Wanjigi’s private life.

He claimed that the advert was a death threat that caused him fear that assassins would go after his family and children.

On his right to dignity, Wanjigi told the court that he was treated as dead while he was still alive.

In reply, Nation disputed that it had breached Wanjigi’s rights.

The company argued that although the photograph in the obituary appeared to be the businessman’s, the names were of a different person, a Mr James Richard Wanjagi.

On privacy, Nation argued the public knew the location of Wanjigi’s house as a result of a police raid. The judgement is slated for April 10 next year.