Ex-militant slams N3bn libel suit against aide to NDDC’s boss

A Zuba High Court in Abuja on Monday fixed Feb. 14, for hearing on N3 billion libel suit filed by an ex-militant, Eshanekpe Isreal, also known as General Akpodoro.

Israel had filed the suit against Mr Jaro Egbo, an aide to the Executive Director, Project, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The plaintiff, in his suit marked CV/8042/17, praying the court to compel the defendant to pay him N1 billion as general damages.

He was also asking for another N2 billion as special, aggravated and exemplary damages for a defamatory publication against him on July 21, 2017.

The former Niger Delta agitator told the court that the defendant had on the said date, circulated information that he was wanted by security agencies for sundry crime of blackmail, extortion and stealing.

The plaintiff was the Coordinator of Niger Delta Youths for President Buhari and also the leader of National of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators Presidential Amnesty.

According to him, he suffered loss of credibility due to the publication by the defendant, which had his bold picture and was titled; “ wanted blackmailer’’.

The plaintiff said his attention was drawn to the publication by one of his loyalist, adding that he immediately contacted the defendant, demanding to know why such a malicious publication.

“However, the defendant instead of remorseful, threatened to bring him down politically.

Israel said that intervention by the Delta APC leadership on the issue, the defendant refused to withdraw the defamatory publication or publish a retraction as advised.

an APC Delta leadership meeting, was unanimously agreed that the defendant should publish in two national dailies, a retraction of the defamatory publication.

“But up till the time of filing this suit, the defendant has failed or neglected to publish a retraction of the said defamatory publication,’’ the plaintiff said.

The plaintiff besides seeking N3 billion damages, through his lawyer, Mrs Rosemary Emovon, was also praying the court to declare the said publication as damaging.

He was also seeking the court to order the defendant to retract the said defamatory publications as false and malicious in two national dailies.

The trial Justice A. O. Ebong, had, however, ordered substituted service of all the court processes to the defendant.

Ebong gave the plaintiff the nod to paste the court documents a conspicuous spot the Abuja residence of the defendant to enable him appear on the adjourned date. (NAN)