By Jacob Ajom
The Rechtbank Gelderland High Court in Arnhem, Holland has found former Nigeria coach, Johannes Bonfrere guilty of defamation in a case brought before it by, yet another former Nigeria coach, Clemens Westerhof.
Westerhof who guided Nigeria to her first World Cup appearance in 1994 took Bonfrere to court after the latter told Sports Radio, Brila FM in an interview, that Nigeria lost the round of 16 match against Italy because Westerhof sold the match for $100,000.
Westerhof prayed the court to compel Bonfrere to prove his allegation against him or go to jail and pay a heavy fine as damages for defaming his good name. The case was first heard a fortnight ago.
Today, Justice Bonnekamp who presided over the case found Bonfrere guilty as charged and asked him to apologise to Westerhof in a paid advert to be published in a Nigerian national daily, stating that his statements on Westerhof were incorrect.
In a reaction to the judgment, Westerhof’s lawyer, Timon Boer said, “Westerhof won the case and the court has asked Bonfrere to place an advert in a national daily in Nigeria stating that his statements against Westerhof were incorrect. More damages to be paid by Bonfrere will be determined next week when the judge meets us and Bonfrere’s lawyers. That is the much I can react on behalf of Westerhof who is my client. Kind regards.”
On his part, an elated Westerhof said: “This is justice for truth. It’s justice to me because I needed to clear my name and the court has done so. I am the happiest man on earth today.”