A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt presided over by Justice I. A. Iyayi-Lamikanta has restrained Alhaji Lai Mohammed from further mention of Prince Uche Secondus, National Chairman, People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the Minster of Information’s recently released looters list.
The court granted the order for one of two prayers in a motion by Prince Secondus seeking interlocutory injunction in restraining the defendants from further publishing the libelous content.
The PDP chairman, in Suit PHC/1013/2018, is suing Lai Mohammed along with Federal Government and Vintage Press, for N1.5Billion, as damages for alleged libel of the PDP chairman when his name was listed as a looter, alleging he collected N200m on 19 February 2015 from the office of the then National Security Adviser.
Both defendants and their counsels were absent in the opening hearing on Monday before the Judge adjourned till April 28.
However the plaintiff represented by Emeka Etiaba (SAN) expressed the hope that all parties would show up on the next date so the court could hear the merits of the case.
Etiaba told newsmen shortly after the court session that, a�?There is no truth in what they (defendants) published, so I can understand why they are not in court, but by the time the restraining order comes, maybe they will take us more seriously.
a�?But we have told Nigerians this is one case of executive recklessness which comes up once in a while. We hope at the end of the day, we prove to Nigerians that this is nothing but a gimmick, a ploy to destroy the PDP and its leadership because of the 2019.a�?
On the second prayer denied by the Judge, Etiaba said, a�?The court was minded to believing that that prayer deals with publications that go beyond the ones that had our plaintiff’s name.
a�?The court felt no, it is at large and cannot be granted, but we are happy with the one granted. Justice is two ways.a�?
Beside the claim of payment of N1.5Billion to Prince Secondus as damages in the substantive suit, the Plaintiff is also pleading the court that defendants retract the libelous material in as many media as they published it among other claims.
Ahead of the adjourned date, the court ordered that the Plaintiff’s counsels serve the defendants hearing notice, same way they served them the originating processes and the accompanying documents in the newspaper.
a�?We will also serve them vide the newspapers and also deposit same in the office of the Attorney General of the Federationa�?, added Etiaba who also had in the Plaintiff’s team a senior colleague, Emeka Okpoko (SAN) among others.
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (politics)