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Alleged defamation: Benue senatorial aspirant’s media aide sued for N2bn

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A Facebook user and one of the media aides to Hon. Hasan Saleh contesting for Benue South Senate, Mr. Cletus Agada, has been dragged before an FCT High Court, Abuja, over a “libellous” publication.

Mr. Agada had on Friday, 8th April, 2022, made a Facebook post and tagged the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Benue State Governor on New Media, Prince Yemi Itodo, with his photograph published on it, describing him as “a criminal”, “serial blackmailer”, “cyber thug” and other unprintable names.

All entreaties by Prince Itodo’s Lawyers and other concerned and peace loving members of the public for Agada to cause a retraction of same publication and tender open apologies within 72 hours fell on deaf ears.

Two weeks after the expiration of the ultimatum, Itodo decided to aprocah the court, through his Counsels, the Pathfind Attorneys, to seek redress and redeem his image, as a “political appointee”, “successful businessman” and “renowned media consultant”.

His Lawyers, amongst other things, are seeking a declaration that the action of the Defendant by writing and publishing the said post on his Facebook timeline on Friday, 8th April, 2022, “is malicious, libelous and tantamount to defamation of the Claimant”.

A copy of the lawsuit sighted by this newspaper and signed by Precious Osose AIRE, Esq., Esther Wuese IORHUNA, Esq. and Anna Ofuna IKWUTA, AICMC, Esq., on behalf of Itodo, is also asking for “AN ORDER COMPELLING the Defendant to withdraw the above quoted libelous publication and tender an unreserved written apology for the embarrassment, pain, hatred, apprehension and ridicule caused the Claimant by publishing same apology on his Facebook timeline and in 3 (Three) National Dailies to wit; The Nation Newspaper, Leadership Newspaper and The Sun Newspaper.

“AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the Defendant either by himself, agents, proxies and or assigns from publishing or further publishing or causing to be published any defamatory comments, pictures and or inscriptions against the Claimant or any of his family members whosoever.

“AN AWARD of the sum of N2, 000, 000, 000 (Two Billion Naira) to the Claimant as general and aggravated damages for the libelous, false and malicious publication made by the Defendant on his Facebook timeline on 8th April, 2022 against the Claimant”.

The lawyers also seek an order of the court to compel Agada to pay another “sum of N5, 000, 000 (Five Million Naira) only, being cost of litigation” and an “interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total judgment sum to be paid by the Defendant from the date judgment is delivered till the date the judgment sum is fully liquidated”.

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