By Chuks Ekpeneru
Presiding judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman has adjourned the N10 billion libel suit instituted against former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole by Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom to Oct 29, 2020 for a report on an out-of-court settlement.
Governor Ortom had instituted legal action against the former Edo State Governor for accusing him of having hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government of the state.
Oshiomole made the accusation against Ortom in an APC sponsored press conference held on July 27, 2018.
However, on Tuesday Oshiomole came looking for an out-of-court settlement in the case.
Ortom had souqght “a declaration by the court that the Defendants’ allegations and publication of July 27 against him are false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libelous.
“An order directing the defendants to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said libelous publication against him in the Sunday editions of 10 National Dailies circulating within Benue State as well as paid advertorials to the same effect on the prime time beats of the Nigerian Television Authority, Channels Tv, TVC News, African Independent Television, Independent Television (ITV), Benin, Radio Nigeria, Radio Benue and Harvest FM.”
“An Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendants, their officers, privies, assigns, surrogates or agents whosoever called from further defaming and libeling the Plaintiff’s character and reputation and any other order(s) that the Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance”.
At the resumption of the court, counsel for Ortom, Mr Samuel Irabor submitted that he was ready to call his witnesses but Oshiomole’s counsel had informed him earlier that they have considered putting up a retraction of the publication and it will be ready within a week.
Irabor further said that in such circumstances, he was applying for another date to take a look at the terms of settlement canvassed by Oshiomole.
Titus Akuhwa who held the brief of Oshiomole’s counsel, Festus Jumbo confirmed the submission of Irabor.
“That is the true position of the matter, we have met and we are drawing out terms of settlement,” he said.