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Court restrains Edo government from defaming Okunbo

By Matthew Ogune and Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja |   12 August 2020   |   4:10 am  

• Mogul seeks N4b damages
• Suit against Ize-Iyamu to be pasted at APC HQ

An Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Suleiman Belgore has granted orders of injunction restraining the Edo State government and its officials from further defaming business mogul, Idahosa Okunbo, popularly known as Capt. Hosa.

The Attorney General of Edo is the first defendant in the case, while Crusoe Osagie is the second.

Osagie, the Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy to the Governor, reportedly signed the said defamatory document published on July 20, 2020 in some national dailies (not The Guardian).

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Media adviser to the business mogul, Samuel Ajayi, stated yesterday that the orders were given on Monday, August 10, 2020 in Abuja.

Ajayi said the court granted, among others, orders restraining the state government, whether acting through the first and or second defendant, its agents or representatives, from reporting or publicising the publication captioned ‘Okunbo, Oshiomhole making plans to disrupt Edo Governorship Elections’ or any other defamatory publication.

In a suit filed by his counsel, Dr. Adedapo Olanipekun, the mogul had also sought an order compelling the defendants to wholly retract the publication.

He demanded N4 billion as “aggravated and exemplary damages for the embarrassment, inconvenience, losses and damages done to the claimant’s person, character and interests, as a result of the defendants’ libelous publications, with a legal cost of N50 million.

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In another development, Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the National Rescue Mission (NRM) to paste the court processes of the suit against the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and his running mate, Audu Ganiyu, at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.

The suit seeks to disqualify both Osagie and Ganiyu in the September 19 governorship election in Edo on alleged unlawful nomination.

Justice Mohammed gave the order while ruling on ex-parte application for substituted service filed by NRM and argued by the party’s counsel, Valentine Offia.

The plaintiff urged the court to declare that APC had no candidate for the election by virtue of non-submission of its list of candidates before the June 29 deadline.

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