Libel: Hon Jibrin Sues Idris Ahmed, Demands N5bn Damages 

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By Damilola Oyedele

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, has dragged the President of CUPS Business Innovation Centre, United Kingdom, Dr. Idris Ahmed, before an Abuja High Court over an alleged scandalous, malicious, derogatory and libelous publication against him.

In the suit before Justice M.B Idris, Jibrin is demanding N5 billion as damages from Ahmed on the grounds that libelous words were recklessly used against him by Ahmed on his Facebook page/handle portal of CUPS, otherwise known as Citizens United for Peace and Stability on April 12, 2016.

The plaintiff is further asking the court to hold that the libelous publication entitled, “Who is Abdulmumin Jibrin”, was designed to tarnish his hard-earned reputation and integrity built over the years, saying that the malicious publication has elicited over 200 condemnable and adverse comments from his webpage.

Jibrin is also asking the court to note that he is a gentleman from a good home, married with children, widely read in Nigeria, Europe and America with a PhD and MBA to his credit.

He is a successful businessman building his company from scratch, chairing a multinational construction company, chairing the Abuja branch of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce, lectured at the university with several publications to his credit, is a fellow of several professional bodies and had won many awards both at home and abroad, before he won the election into the House of Representatives.

The plaintiff also informed the court that he was found electable by his constituents even before the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) hence was twice elected, and is not in anyway standing trial for any “criminal allegation”, was “never involved in any fraud” anywhere in his numerous personal cum domestic and international business transactions and or in his conduct in private or as a public officer.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr. Abdulhamid Mohammed, further told the court that it is to the credit of his client that he served the country in numerous capacities, which have impacted in deepening democracy, sustaining the ethos of good governance in Nigeria, and strengthening the economic objectives of the Nigerian state.

He added that his client’s performance as the Chairman, House Committee on Finance of the Seventh Assembly received acclaim locally and internationally.

“He conducted several investigations and left an unblemished record,” Jibrin’s lawyer informed the court.

According to the plaintiff, the entire publications by the defendant were false and mischievous.

Seven witnesses, Mr. Julius Okache, Mr. Emeka Okoroji, Mr. Kolade Akiujo, Mr. Faisal Abdulmalik, Mr. Lekan, Mr. Bashir Bello and Alhaji Buhari Yusuf, also deposed in their witnesses statement on oaths that the libellous publication was injurious to Jibrin’s reputation of high integrity and remarkable service to his fatherland.

They further affirmed that Jibrin is a well known person to them, insisting that he is one of the leading lights in the House of Representatives.

When the matter came up on June 13, 2016, Justice Idris granted the prayers of the lawyer to Jibrin and ordered substituted service on the defendant in national newspapers with wider outreach.

The judge further directed that the defendant should be served with the court processes through DHL courier service at his last known address at Warwick University Science Park, Harry Weston Road, Coventry CV3 2TX, United Kingdom.

The judge also ordered that the court processes should be served on Idris through his alternate address at No 115, Lythalis Lane, Coventry, CV6 6FN, United Kingdom.

Justice Idris further directed that a soft copy of the court processes should be served on Idris via his email address – idris.ahmed@tecomex-forensics.com.

The judge consequently adjourned the matter till September 20, 2016 for further hearing.