Alex Enumah in Abuja
An Abuja High Court Thursday ruled that the factional leader of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, should pay the sum of N100 million as damages in a libel suit filed against him.
Founder and leader of OPC, Dr. Frederick Fasehun, had in 2013 slammed an N11 billion suit against the Independent Communications Network Limited (Publishers of PM News and the News Magazine) and Adams for defamatory and libelous publication against him in the News Magazine.
Delivering judgment on the matter yesterday, Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo held that the comments contained in the interview granted by Adams and published in the August 26, 3013, edition of the News Magazine was defamatory and libelous of the plaintiff.
Consequently, the court awarded a N100 million damages against Adams and the publishers of the News Magazine, as exemplary damages for the defamatory publication.
He however stated that the sum would attract a 10 percent interest from June 16, 2016, that the judgment was delivered until all the money is paid to the plaintiff.
Aladetoyinbo also ordered the defendants to publish an apology, retraction and rebuttal of the libelous materials in the News Magazine and two national dailies in three consecutive days.
The court, in the judgment, restrained the defendants from further publishing the libelous materials against the plaintiff.
Fasehun, in his writs of summons marked FCT/HC/CV/513/2013, said the defamatory publication, predicated upon the interview granted the magazine by Adams referred to him as a murderer, kidnapper among other defamatory remarks.
The plaintiff’s lawyers, Edwin Inegedu and Habeed Oredola, had earlier told the court that the defamatory remarks by Adams in the said publications would, “Unequivocally affect the personality and reputation of the plaintiff among right thinking members of the public.
“It is the plaintiff’s case that the publication was made in malice and in extremely bad faith and contains no iota of truth whatsoever.
“The plaintiff, who is a reputable citizen of Nigeria, a democrat and an emancipation movement activist, has been subjected to public ridicule and embarrassment due to the malicious publication of the defendant.”