Court fixes Feb 14 to hear ex-militant’s N3bn libel suit

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By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting at Zuba, has fixed February 14, to commence hearing on a N3billion libel suit an ex-militant, Eshanekpe Isreal a.k.a General Akpodoro, filed against an aide to the Executive Director of project at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Jaro Egbo.

Judicial symbol

The plaintiff, in his suit marked CV/8042/17, is praying the court to compel the defendant to pay him the sum of N1billion as general damages, as well as another N2bn as special, aggravated and examplary damages for a defamatory publication he said was posted against him on July 21, 2017.

The former Niger Delta agitator told the court that the defendant had on the said date, circulated on a Whatsapp campaign platform that was created for Senator Omo-Agege, “a highly libelous and defamatory” post that he was wanted by security agencies.

The plaintiff who told the court that he was the Cordinator of Niger Delta Youths for President Muhammadu Buhari during and after the 2015 election, and also the leader of National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators Presidential Amnesty, said he suffered loss of credibility due to the post by the defendant.

In his 26-paragraphed statement of claim, the plaintiff averred: “That on the 21st day of July 2017, there was a publication posted on the APC/APM 4 Sen. O. Omo-Agege whatsaap group from telephone No 234-9090000385 belonging to the defendant.

“The publication had a bold picture of me titled ‘Wanted Blackmailer’ and below the picture of the plaintiff was written “This is to inform the general public that the security agencies have declared Mr. Isreal Eshanekpe AKA General Akpododo wanted for sundry crimes of blackmail, extortion and stealing. He is about 5 feet tall and dark in completion and walk with a limb from gunshot injury he suffered from robbery operation some years back.  Handsome rewards await anybody woth useful information. Signed: Security Agencies”.

The plaintiff said his attention was drawn to the publication by one of his loyalist, Engineer Oharisi Prince Eric, who he said was a member of the said Whatsaap group.

“The plaintiff avers that upon seeing the said publication he immediately contacted the defendant demanding to know why such a malicious publication was published by him (defendant) against him knowing how vital his position as a coalition/youth leader is.

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