A high court in Rivers has asked Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and others, to pay damages and tender open, published apologies to Uche Secondus over defamatory statements in the media.
The judgement was delivered by the High Court of Rivers State, Port Harcourt Division with Hon. Justice A. I. Iyayi-Lamikanra presiding on Thursday, May 20, 2021.
In some of the decision reached, the court ruled that “the claimant’s case succeeds and the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the libelous publication made against the claimant.
“That the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Defendants shall publish a written apology in favour of the Claimant in the newspaper of the 3rd Defendant.
“An Order of injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, agents or privies from further publishing defamatory statements against the Claimant.
“That the Defendants shall pay the sum of 20 Million Naira to the Claimant as damages.”
The claimant by a writ of summons filed this suit on the 6th of April 2018 for the following claims that
a declaration that the publication made by the defendant’s against the claimant that the subject matter of the suit is defamatory.
Secondus had then prayed the Honourable Court directing the defendant’s to retract the said publication and apologize in writting to the claimant for the defamatory publication.
“An order of this Honourable Court directing the defendant’s to publish the retraction and the written apology in all the News and Social Media including but not limited to The Nations Newspaper This Day Newspaper, Sun Newspaper, Guardian Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, Nigerian Television Authority, Channels Television amongst others where the defamatory materials were published.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant’s agents and privies from further publishing the defamatory publication against the claimant.”
The claimant also asked for damages for the sum of N1,500,000,000.00 ( one Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira ) only by the defendant’s to the claimant being general damages for humiliation, castigation, attack of his person and integrity by the defamatory publication.
At this, the court ruled that the claimant’s case succeeds and the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the libelous publication made against the claimant.