By Alexandra Oladipo
Abuja – FCT High Court, Apo, on Monday adjourned until Oct.23, the alleged N5billion defamation suit, instituted by Chief Raymond Dokpesi against the Minister of Information and Culture and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
Dokpesi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications Plc, filed the suit on April 30, seeking N5 billion damages from the defendants for alleged defamation.
He alleged that Information Minister, Lai Mohammed and the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami (SAN), defamed his character by the inclusion of his name on the treasury looters’ list.
The plaintiff had told the court that the Information Minister had on March 30, during a press conference, portrayed him as “a corrupt and crooked person, a dishonest man and a thief.”
Dokpesi through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that the minister’s action negatively affected his reputation and that his image had been seriously injured.
The plaintiff said he had suffered considerable distress, odium, obloquy, ridicule in political analysis in the media.
Dokpesi besides the N5 billion damages, is also asking the court to order the defendants to publish a full retraction of the said publication.
He further asked the court to order the defendants to tender an unreserved apology to him in all the major electronic and print media outlets in the country.
He further urged the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, partners, representatives, from further writing, publishing defamatory words about the plaintiff.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, the plaintiff’s counsel, Ennaemeka Adasu, holding brief for Ozekhome, informed the court that the matter was slated for hearing and all the five plaintiff’s witnesses were in court.
He, however, told the court that the defendants’ counsel only this morning in court, served the plaintiff with a notice of preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
Adasu , who argued that the service on his client in court this morning was done in bad faith and in the circumstance, requested for an adjournment to enable him respond to the objection.
Justice Adegboyega Adeniyi, upheld the plaintiff counsel’s submission and adjourned the case until Oct. 23 for hearing of the preliminary objection.