An Abuja High Court has dismissed a defamation case filed against Eunisell Limited and two others.The suit, filed by Kenneth Amadi, a former employee, and two others, was thrown out in its entirety with costs awarded in favour of the defendants.
The first claimant, Amadi, a former employee of Eunisell, had approached the court for alleged defamation against him and sought special damages from the defendants.
Amadi was alleged to have obtained a sum of N2.9 billion belonging to Eunisell, under false pretences with intent to defraud the company.
Eunisell petitioned the police, seeking their intervention and investigation, against the background of Amadi’s suspected criminal misconduct, whilst he was in their employ.
Amadi complained that the action of his former employer affected his credibility and sought redress.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Jude Okeke of the High Court of Justice held that “upon a calm consideration of the contents of the circumstances of the defendants’ claims against the conducts of Amadi, the 1st claimant, the respectful view that the defendants, as the then employers of the 1st claimant when the alleged diversion of funds occurred, are persons who have interest in writing the petition to enable the police to investigate the allegation against the claimants.”
“The police on its part, being a body charged under Section 4 of the Police Act to investigate and detect commission of crimes, has a duty or interest in receiving the complaint in the exercise of its duties.”
The court further held that: “It is the public duty of anyone who knows or reasonably believes that a crime has been committed, to assist in the discovery of the wrong doer.”
Justice Okeke noted that the offensive words which constituted ‘defamation’ in either the petition or other publications, were not set out in the pleadings as mandatorily required by law.
“The libel and or the publications having not been made out the other reliefs predicated on the defamation by way of general and special damages as claimed have no basis to stand. It is for this reason that all the other reliefs or facet of the claimants’ case cannot be sustained. They are dismissed,” the court said.