Gov Ortom sues Akume for libel


Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has instituted a N60bn lawsuit against the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, George Akume.

The suit marked MHC/268/2021 was filed before a high court in Makurdi, on Friday, by Okon N. Efut (SAN), and four other lawyers.

Ortom’s suit followed Akume’s comment during a press conference in Abuja, where the minister accused the governor of corruption and disrespecting President Muhammadu Buhari.

Ortom is seeking N50 billion as general damages for libel, and N10 billion as exemplary and aggravated damages.

In the statement of claim, the governor is seeking a declaration that the text of Akume’s press conference, held on August 30, 2021, in Abuja, and the reports in various national dailies is “scandalous, malicious and injurious” to his person.

He alleged that the press conference was intended to lower his reputation before right-thinking members of the society and to expose him to “hatred, contempt and ridicule”.

The governor is also seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant (Akume) by himself or through any agent, servants or privies from similar or further publication of any defamatory statement against him.

The court is however yet to fix a date for the hearing of the case.

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