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Libel: Court Orders Magazine To Pay Chime N400m Damage

Ignatius Okpara, Enugu

An Enugu High Court has ordered the Scroll Publishing Company, Publishers of the Scroll Magazine to pay Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu state, the sum of N400 million as general and exemplary damages for a libelous article published against him two years ago.

Gov Sullivan Chime of Enugu state, South-East Nigeria

Gov Sullivan Chime of Enugu state, South-East Nigeria

The Court Presided over by the Chief Judge of the State Justice Innocent Umezuluike, made the order Thursday in his judgment in respect of the case of libel Chime had filed against the publication in Suit No. E/76/2012 and listed as Sullivan Chime Esq vs Scroll Publishing Limited.

In the judgment, the court held that an article published by the magazine on October 3, 2011, which among other things, portrayed the Governor as being corrupt, morally bankrupt and as having rigged himself into office, was false and malicious.

It also ordered the defendant to retract the publication and tender an apology to the Governor to be published in Scroll Magazine “in the same manner and given the same prominence as the publication of the libel” and also in three national newspapers with wide circulation in Nigeria.

The Court said the sum to be paid by the defendant will serve as general and exemplary damages for the injury caused to the plaintiff by the false publication.

Reacting to the verdict one of the counsel to Governor Chime Mr Sam Orji of Ikeyi and Arifayan Chambers, described the judgment as fair and disclosed that a similar suit is pending against Media Techniques Nigeria Limited, Publishers of City People Magazine at the Enugu High Court.

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