Libel: AGAIN, OSHIOMOLE LOSES BID TO STOP ORTOM’S SUIT

A Makurdi High Court Presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman today struck out a motion filed by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomole, praying the court to strike out the N10 billion libel suit instituted against him by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom.

The motion prayed the court to strike out the suit over the non-joinder of Vanguard Media Limited, the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, and social media platforms or compel the Governor to join the necessary parties who published the press conference of July 27,2018.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Ityonyiman upheld the earlier submission of Governor Ortom’s lawyer, Samuel Irabor Esq, that the case can be decided between Governor Ortom, Adams Oshiomhole and the APC without joining the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, Vanguard Media Ltd and Social media platforms.

He held that the plaintiff is at liberty to choose who to join issues with.

After the ruling, Governor Ortom’s counsel, Irabor told the court that he was ready to proceed with the case by calling his star witness, who was in court.

Titus Akuha Esq, who held brief for Oshiomole’s lawyer, Damian Dodo, SAN, told the court that the defense team was not prepared to proceed today, as the matter was earlier fixed for ruling on the motion challenging the non-joinder of other parties.

He thereafter made an oral application for adjournment to another date.

The presiding Judge, Justice Ityonyiman accordingly adjourned the matter to November 8, 2019 for definite hearing of the substantive suit.

Governor Ortom in the suit among other things, averred that Oshiomhole allegedly assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored press conference held on Friday July 27, 2018, Comrade Oshiomhole accused the Governor of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against the Governor.

Reported by David Mzer

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