Ortom vs Oshiomhole: Court fixes Dec. 7 for hearing
Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A Makurdi High Court, presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, on Friday, fixed December 7, 2018, for hearing of the preliminary objections in the N10 billion libel suit instituted by Governor Samuel Ortom against the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
When the case came up, Barr. Samuel Irabor appeared for Governor Ortom, while F.T Ajebe who held brief for Damian Dodo, (SAN) appeared for Comrade Oshiomhole.
Counsel to the APC Chairman brought a motion, pleading for the extension of time to enable him respond to the counter affidavit served on him by Governor Ortom’s counsel in response to the preliminary objections, a plea which Counsel to Governor Ortom did not oppose.
Justice Ityonyiman after listening to the plea from Oshiomhole’s counsel granted his prayers and adjourned the case to December 7, 2018 for hearing of the preliminary objections.
Reacting to today’s proceedings, counsel to Governor Ortom, Barr. Irabor told newsmen that the APC Chairman filed his preliminary objections this morning, and he responded immediately, an act that led to Oshiomhole’s counsel pleading for an extension of time.
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He added that the APC Chairman has not filed any defense to the allegations of defamation bought against.
Governor Ortom in the suit among other things, averred that Oshiomhole allegedly assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored press conference held on Friday July 27, 2018, Comrade Oshiomhole accused him of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him (the Governor).
Some of the reliefs sought by Governor Ortomin included the N10 billion suit against Oshiomole include “a declaration by the court that the Defendants’ allegations and publication of July 27 against him are false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libelous.
“An order directing the defendants to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said libelous publication against him 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.”
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“An Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendants, their officers, privies, assigns, surrogates or agents whosoever called from further defaming and libeling the Plaintiff’s character and reputation and any other order(s) that the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”
In the same court, the suit instituted by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Benue State against the Inspector General of Police over attempts by the IGP to proscribe and shutdown the Livestock Guards was adjourned to November 29, 2018.
The case was adjourned after Counsel to the Benue State government, Douglas Pepe told the court that the Counter affidavit of the defendants was served on him while in court, and he needed time to study it and respond accordingly.
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