Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has made good his threat to sue the fiery comrade, Adams oshiomhole, new national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ortom, a former minister, had asked the APC boss to retract what he termed accusations and malicious statements against him. Oshiomhole had in press statements insinuated that the governor was responsible for things like non-payment of salaries to workers and killings in Benue State.
Now, a Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Theresa Igoche has granted leave to the Ortom to serve Oshiomhole and the APC with his writ of summons in Suit No MHC/280/2018.
When the suit came up on Friday, 24th August, 2018, counsel to Governor Ortom, Mr Samuel Irabor, moved an ex-parte application seeking the leave of Court to serve the defendants in Abuja outside the Benue State judicial division.
The judge 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.
Governor Ortom has among other things, averred that the defendants assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored press conference held on Friday, 27th July, 2018, Comrade Oshiomhole accused Governor Ortom 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 Governor Ortom. Ortom therefore prays the Honourable 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 N10Bn 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 orders that the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.