By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Uche Secondus has made good his threat to drag the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to court for defamation of character.
The Minister had mentioned Secondus in the list of those he claimed looted the nation’s treasury alleging that he collected N200 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, but an embarrassed Secondus who said he never collected a dime from the former NSA through his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, wrote to the Minister few days back, seeking the immediate removal of the PDP Chairman’s name from the list, payment of N1.5 billion damages and public apology within 48 hours.
The letter told Mohammad to note that if he failed to meet their demands after 48 hours, “We shall within 72 hours from today, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to ventilate our clients right under the law and shall further seek the protection of the court against you”
A statement issued yesterday by Secondus’ Special Assistant on Media, Ike Abonyi, said: “Having failed to meet the demand, Prince Secondus on Friday April 6,2018, made good his threat and filed a suit at the Port Harcourt, High Court, Rivers State, claiming among other things, that the court awards to him the sum of N1.5b being damages for humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.
Secondus in the suit no/PHC/1013/2018 is also claiming that Lai Mohammad’s publication is defamatory and is asking the court to direct him to retract the said publication and apologise in writing.
He is also asking Mohammed to publish the retraction and apology in all the social media including but not limited to the Following newspapers: The Nation, THISDAY, The Sun, Guardian and Punch as well as in the following television stations: Channels and NTA, among others, where the defammatory story was published.
Secondus is also asking the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing defamatory materials against him.
Joined in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the federation and the Vintage Press ltd, publishers of the Nation Newspapers.
Dokpesi Demands Apology, N500m
Chairman of Daar Communications, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi has demanded an apology and the payment of N500 million from the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed for calling him a looter of government treasury.
The notice from Chief Dokpesi’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, dated 4th April, 2018, specifically demanded an “apology and retraction of defamatory statement/publication against the person of High Chief (Dr) Raymond Alegho Dokpesi (OFR).”
The lawyer said the minister’s apology should be published in four national dailies, “to wit, The Punch, THISDAY, The Nation and the Sun Newspapers.
“That you pay to our client through this Chambers, the sum of N500,000,000.00 (Five hundred million Naira) only, representing minimal damages.”
That unless the minister carried out the above minimal demands immediately, he would sue without further notice.