A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has restrained the Edo State government, the Special Adviser, Media and Communication Strategy to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, and their agents from further making any defamatory publications against a businessman, Captain Idahosa Wells Okunbo.
Justice Suleiman Belgore, sitting as the court’s vacation judge, gave the interim injunction on Monday while ruling on an ex-parte motion filed to that effect by Okunbo.
Justice Belgore, in an enrolment order seen yesterday, restrained the defendants and any of their agents from publishing, causing to be published, circulating the publication captioned: “Okunbo, Oshiomhole making plans to disrupt Edo governorship election,’ and other related defamatory publication by any means whatsoever, including publications by/on print or electronic and social media platforms.”
The judge also granted the plaintiff leave to effect service of the originating processes and other additional processes in the suit on the defendants through substituted means by publication in a widely circulated national daily.
Justice Belgore adjourned till August 18 this year for the hearing of the substantive suit.
The plaintiff is, in the substantive suit, praying the court for a declaration that the publications allegedly made by the defendants on July 20, 2020, captioned: “Okunbo, Oshiomhole making plans to disrupt Edo Governorship Elections,” which appeared on pages 26 and 53 respectively of The PUNCH and THISDAY newspapers, were false, fabricated, misleading, malicious, unfair and defamatory.
He is also seeking an order restraining the defendants by themselves, agents, representatives, officers, servants, proxies, assigns, trustees or any other person, howsoever described, acting directly or indirectly for them from publishing, causing to be published, circulating, further publishing, reporting or publicising the publication captioned ‘Okunbo, Oshiomhole making plans to disrupt Edo Governorship Elections,’ and or any other related defamatory publication by any means whatsoever, including publications by/on print, electronic and social media platforms, including publications in The PUNCH and THISDAY newspapers.
Okunbo also wants an order compelling the defendants to wholly retract or withdraw the false, fabricated, misleading, malicious, unfair and defamatory publications of 20 July, 2020, captioned “Okunbo, Oshiomhole making plans to disrupt Edo Governorship Elections,” which appeared on pages 26 and 53 respectively of The PUNCH and THISDAY newspapers, from The PUNCH, THISDAY and any other platform/newspaper same was published.
He wants N4billion “being 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’ libellous publications of 20 July, 2020′ and N50m as cost of legal representation/action.”