Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state.
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche has granted leave to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State to serve the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and its National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole with N10 billion defamation suit.
Samuel Irabor, counsel to governor Ortom, moved an ex-parte application seeking the leave of the court to serve the defendants at Abuja outside the Benue State Judicial Division.
Justice Igoche found merit in the application and granted leave for the defendants to be served at the APC National Secretariat, No. 40, Blantyre Street, Wuse II, Abuja.
The Benue state governor alleged that the ruling party and its Chairman alongside many others have been making slanderous and libelous statements against him.
Concise News recalls that Governor Ortom was accused of masterminding the murder of two Catholic priests in Benue, amongst other heavy allegations, this is believed to have led to the suit filed by the Benue governor.
Once served with the writ of summons, the defendants have 30 days to enter an appearance and file their defence.
Governor Ortom, among other things, alleged that the defendants assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored press conference held on Friday, 27th July 2018, Oshiomhole accused him of having a hand in the death of 2 Catholic priests and their parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him.
The Benue state governor is, therefore, seeking the following reliefs:
(a) A DECLARATION by this Honourable Court that the Defendants’ allegations and publication of 27/07/2018 against the Plaintiff are false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libelous of the Plaintiff.
(b) AN ORDER directing the Defendants to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said defamatory and libelous publication against the Plaintiff in the Sunday editions of 10 National Dailies circulating within Benue State as well as paid advertorials to the same effect on the prime time beats of the Nigerian Television Authority, Channels Tv, TVC News, African Independent Television, Independent Television (ITV), Benin, Radio Nigeria, Radio Benue and Harvest FM.
(c) COST of the suit.
(d) AN ORDER of the Honourable Court awarding the sum of #10,000,000,000.00K (Ten Billion Naira) only as damages in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants jointly and severally for the defamation and libel of the Plaintiff’s character and reputation by the Defendants.
(e) AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendants, their officers, privies, assigns, surrogates or agents howsoever called from further defaming and libeling the Plaintiff’s character and reputation.
ANY OTHER ORDER(S) that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.