The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Uche Secondus has won a defamation suit filed against the Federal Government and the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The judgement at a Rivers State High Court mandated the federal government to pay N20m in damages to the PDP Chairman.
During the virtual court proceedings presided over by the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra on Thursday, Secondus successfully proved his case that the defendants jointly and severally defamed him by publishing his name on the looters’ list in 2018.
Recalls that Lai Mohammed in March 2018 published a list of some Nigerians he claimed looted the country’s treasury and named Secondus as one of such looters.
In order to clear his name, Secondus, through a pre-action letter by his lawyer, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), demanded the retraction of the publication as well as a payment of N1.5bn damages to him within 72 hours, with an attendant lawsuit.
In his judgement, Justice Iyayi-Lamikanra said, “The claimant’s case succeeds and the defendants are jointly and severally liable for the libelous publication made against the claimant.
“The 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants shall publish a written apology in favour of the claimant in the newspaper of the 3rd defendant.”
He also mandated the defendants from further publishing defamatory statements against the claimant.
The judge added, “The defendants shall pay the sum of N20m to the claimant as damages.”