The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court has adjourned hearing in the N10 billion suit instituted by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, against Omoyele Sowore, over an alleged false media report, to January 26, 2021.
The Court granted the prayer of the IGP for the defendant, Sowore, publisher of online media outfit, SaharaReporters, to appear before it over the alleged false media reports.
Justice Binta Mohammed, in a ruling on December 18, 2020, granted the IGP’s plea in a motion exparte number with number FCT/HC/M/13103/2020 filed by his lawyer, Alex Izinyon, SAN.
Izinyon had, in the application, sought an order of the court, granting leave to the claimant/applicant (Adamu) to issue and serve the writ of summons and statement of claim on the defendant who resides in Ondo State, outside the jurisdiction of the court.
He also sought an order of the court pursuant to the grant of the first prayer above for leave to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim, witness statement and other processes filed on the defendant by substituted means by pasting same in his residence in Ondo State, and such service to be deemed as proper service.
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The IGP had recently described as falsehood a report published by the media outfit, on August 3, 2021, accusing him of illegally raising funds to build Police Training School in Nasarawa State.
Adamu, through his lawyer, Izinyon, had threatened to file a N10 billion suit against the online platform and its publisher, Sowore, unless an apology was tendered within seven days of the letter addressed to the media house on August 6, 2021.
He said he would go on with the suit except Sowore did a written and unequivocal retraction with an apology carried with the same prominence on its platform and three national dailies.
In a writ of summon with suit number: CU/3506/2020 dated and filed on December 21, Izinyon sought “a declaration that the words published by the defendant against the claimant in the online website of Sahara Reporters of August 3, 2021, falsely and maliciously written, published to the general public and therefore was defamatory of the person of claimant.
“The sum of N10 billion only to the claimant as aggravated and exemplary damages against the defendant for libel, falsely and maliciously published by the defendant against the claimant in the online website.”
The lawyer also urged the court to make an order, restraining the media outfit from publishing any defamatory report against his client.