The FCT High Court has granted the prayer of Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu in the N10-billion suit filed against Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, to appear before it over an alleged false media report.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Justice Binta Mohammed granted the I-G’s plea in an ex-parte motion, with number: FCT/HC/M/13103/2020, filed by his lawyer, Alex Izinyon, SAN.
The judge then adjourned the matter until Jan. 26, 2021 for hearing.
Izinyon had, in the application, sought an order of the court, “granting leave to the claimant/applicant (Adamu) to issue and serve the writ of summons and statement of claim on the defendant (Sowore), who resides at No. 1, Mosafejo Street, Kiribo, Ese-Odo LGA, Ondo State, outside the jurisdiction of this honourable court.
“An order of this honourable court pursuant to the grant of prayer 1 above for leave to serve the writ of summons and statement of claim, witness statement and other processes filed on the defendant by substituted means by pasting same at No. 1, Mosafejo Street, Kiribo, Ese-Odo LGA, Ondo State, and for such service to be deemed as proper service.”
Adamu had described as falsehood a report published by Sahara Reporters, an online media outfit, on Aug. 3, accusing him of illegally raising funds to build a Police Training School in Nasarawa State.
The I-G, through his lawyer, Izinyon, had threatened to file a N10-billion suit against the online news channel and its publisher, Sowore, unless an apology was tendered within seven days of the letter, which was addressed to the media house on Aug. 6.
He had vowed to file the suit except “a written and unequivocal retraction with an apology, carried with the same prominence on its (Sahara Reporters) platform and three national dailies”, was done.
However, in a writ of summon with suit number: CU/3506/2020, dated and filed on Dec. 21, Izinyon sought “a declaration that the words published by the defendant against the claimant in the online website of Sahara Reporters of Aug. 3 falsely and maliciously written, published to the general public and, therefore, was defamatory of the person of claimant.
“The sum of N10 billion should be paid to the claimant as aggravated and exemplary damages against the defendant for libel, falsely and maliciously published by the defendant against the claimant in the online website.”
The lawyer also urged the court to make an order, restraining the media outfit from publishing defamatory reports against his client any longer.