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Friday, December 8, 2023

Obidigwe sue’s Daily Times, demands N4bn damages over allegation of gunrunning



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By Favour Goodness

The member representing Anambra East and West Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Chinedu Obidigwe has instituted a N4bn libel suit against Folio Communications Plc, the publishers of Daily Times Newspapers.

The Writ of Summons was filed on Dec. 10, 2021 at the Registry of High Court of Justice, Otuocha. The writ was entered as Suit No: OT/191/2021.

The cause of action in the suit according to the plaintiff was that in October 2021, in the heat of attacks by unknown gun men in Anambra state, the Daily Times published a report that Hon. Obidigwe plaintiff in his convoy was intercepted with arms and ammunition by a combined team of the Police and the Military. It was further reported that the lawmaker has been arrested and taken into custody by the Police.

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However, the Zone 13 Command of the Nigeria Police issued a press release wherein it stated that no such interception of Obidigwe was made, that Obidigwe was not arrested by its men or detained in its command as alleged.

Obidigwe had earlier written to the Daily Times to retract the publication and tender an apology but that was not done. Thus, the lawmaker had to institute an action through his team of lawyers led by O.L. Udemezue Esq., against the publishers of Daily Times.

In the suit, Obidigwe demanded Four Billion Naira, being general aggravated and exemplary damages for the defamatory content generated and published by the defendant against the plaintiff.

He also prayed for an order compelling the defendant herein to retract in writing, all the said defamatory statements about the plaintiff and publish same in two national newspapers including the defendant’s broadcast medium wherein the defamatory statements were made.

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An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further defamatory publication against the plaintiff was also sought.

In the suit, he contended that the publications have dented the image of the plaintiff and people who erstwhile held the claimant in high esteem have lost confidence in him and now avoid him.

“The defamatory publication of the defendant has now cast a cloud on all the plaintiff’s good will and damaged his reputation as a representative of the Omambala people, ardent Christian and a philanthropist, a mentor of the youths, the husband of his wife, father of his children and above all a respectable and responsible citizen of Nigeria.

A date for hearing has not been fixed in the matter

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