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Defamation: Ortom gets court order to summon Oshiomhole, APC

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Governor Samuel Ortom

 Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has got the leave of the court to serve the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole and the All Progressives Congress, APC, a writ of summons for alleged defamation of character.

A Makurdi High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Theresa Igoche, granted the leave on Friday in the suit with the number: MHC/280/2018.

Ortom’s lawyer, Mr. Samuel Irabor, moved an ex-parte application seeking the leave of the court to serve the defendants at Abuja outside the Benue State Judicial Division.

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The judge said he 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.

Once served with the writ of summons, the defendants have 30 days to enter appearance and file their defence.

In the suit, the governor, among other things, averred that the defendants assassinated his character and damaged his reputation during an APC-sponsored press conference held on Friday, 27th July, 2018.

He said during the conference, Oshiomhole accused him of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and their parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him (Ortom).

Ortom therefore prayed the court for 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 N10,000,000,000.00K (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.”

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