A Rivers State high Court sitting in Port Harcourt has entered judgment towards the Federal Authorities and the Minister of Data and Tradition, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a defamation go well with filed towards them by the Nationwide Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Social gathering, Prince Uche Secondus.
The Chief Choose of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra, in a judgment delivered throughout a digital courtroom sitting on Thursday, mentioned Secondus efficiently proved his case that the defendants collectively and severally defamed him by publishing his identify on the looters’ checklist in 2018.It could be recalled that the Minister of Data and Tradition had in March 2018 revealed an inventory of some Nigerians he claimed looted the nation’s treasury and named Secondus as one in every of such looters.
In protest, Secondus, by means of a pre-action letter by his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), demanded the retraction of the publication in addition to a cost of N1.5bn damages to him inside 72 hours, failing which he threatened to go to courtroom.
He later filed a libel go well with marked PHC/1013/2018 towards Mohammed and the Federal Authorities, urging the courtroom to declare that the respondents defamed him by placing his identify on the looters’ checklist.
The courtroom on Thursday entered judgment in Secondus’ favour and awarded N20m in damages towards the defendants.
The decide mentioned, “The claimant’s case succeeds and the defendants are collectively and severally responsible for the libelous publication made towards the claimant.
The first, 2nd and third defendants shall publish a written apology in favour of the claimant within the newspaper of the third defendant.”
The decide made “an order of injunction restraining the defendants whether or not by themselves, brokers or privies from additional publishing defamatory statements towards the claimant.”
The decide added, “The defendants shall pay the sum of N20m to the claimant as damages.”