Aiyedogbon vs Ugwuonye: Court Adjourns N10bn Defamation Suit to May 18


A Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, has adjourned to May 18 the N10 billion defamation suit filed by ex-husband of missing Abuja business woman, Charity Aiyedogbon, Mr. David Aiyedogbon against Lagos lawyer, Emeka Ugwuonye.

The adjournment followed a motion filed by the defendant, Ugwuonye, challenging the N20,000.00 fine earlier slammed on him by the court for refusing to move an earlier motion he filed challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

He also prayed the court to reinstate the motion, which was earlier struck out, saying his absence in previous court sittings was not deliberate.

Counsel to the Plaintiff, Tony Ogbulafor told the court that the fresh motion was served on him same morning in the court hall, but still expressed readiness to address all the issues raised in Ugwuonye’s motion orally, from points of law.

When called upon to formally move the motion in court, Ugwuonye asked for an adjournment, to enable him prepare to move his motion, to the surprise of both the plaintiff’s team and observers.

Ogbulafor had earlier told the court that the defendant’s conducts were an abuse of court process, even as he accused him of wasting the time of the court, with a view to delaying the road to justice.
After a debate, the presiding judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke adjourned the matter to May 18, amidst protest by Ugwuonye, who argued that the date of next adjournment was too near.

It would be recalled that for falsely accusing him of having a hand in the sudden disappearance of his estranged wife, Charity Aiyedogbon, David Aiyedogbon, the ex-husband of the missing woman instituted a defamation of character suit of N10 billion against Ugwuonye.

The suit, with number CV/2750/16, between David Aiyedogbon (Plaintiff) and Emeka Ugwuonye (Defendant) on defamation of character, before Justice Peter Kekemeke of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 14, Apo Abuja; also prays that the defendant be ordered to pay for the cost of the suit.
The plaintiff is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction “restraining the defendant, his agents, privies, associates or whosoever called” from making further defamatory publications against him and his family members.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, the court earlier granted a request brought before it by way of Motion Ex-parte, for service outside its jurisdiction by the lead prosecution Counsel, Ogbulafor.

Ugwuonye is accused of posting severally on the Due Process Advocates (DPA), a Facebook group, claiming to have evidence of the involvement of Aiyedogbon in Charity’s sudden disappearance.
In an earlier reaction to Ugwuonye’s allegation, Aiyedogbon washed his hands over the disappearance of the woman and wrote his accuser, through his lawyers, demanding an apology, failure which he would institute a suit against him for defamation of character.

Investigations reveal that Ugwuonye is yet to produce any evidence to substantiate his claims. He has also not responded to the Writ of Summons served on him on November 16, 2016 on the matter.
Enquiry at the National Secretariat of the Nigerian Bar Association also show that he is yet to respond to a query earlier issued him by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the matter, in respect of Aiyedogbon’s petition to the NBA, dated September 26, 2016.