Senate President Bukola Saraki said he would recover every kobo of the sum of N4 billion damages awarded in his favour by the Ilorin High Court against Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters over libelous stories he published against him in 2015.
Saraki, who made this known yesterday in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, while commending the ruling delivered by Justice Adeyinka Oyinloye against publisher of the online platform, said the judgment was a testament that the moral arc of the universe would always bend towards justice.
“I will like to assure all and sundry that I will not spare any legal efforts and expenses, both in Nigeria and abroad, necessary to recover every kobo of the cost awarded in my favour from the defendant,” Saraki stated.
The restitution from this judgment, he added, “will be channeled to set up a Foundation, whose aim will be to support pure and unadulterated investigative journalism and assist the families of real journalists that die in the line of duty.
“The money will also be used to support genuine publications, whose owners are struggling to pay salaries of workers or meet their ever-rising running cost.
“Part of the money will also be channelled to help lawyers who have been providing pro bono services to litigants, particularly on cases bothering on enforcement of fundamental human rights.”
Explaining further, Saraki said the judgment was issued against Sahara Reporters for constantly publishing false, libelous and misleading stories aimed at defaming his person.
“The judgment provides a redeeming point for noble profession of journalism, which has as its sacred, cardinal principle the pursuit of facts at all times and in all situations.
“The journalists and news media, who have devoted themselves to the pursuit of truth, but appear to be overwhelmed by those who trade in falsehood and sensationalism, now have a reason to be proud that they are on the right path,” he stated.
He said the verdict was not his personal victory alone, but a victory for all the victims of falsehood, many of whom either out of fear, lack of the patience to consistently pursue a court case for years or lack of belief in the ability of the system to give them justice decided to leave with the injury to their reputation.
Source: The Guardian
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