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Libel: Enugu PDP Guber Candidate Drags APC State Chairman, Daily Independent To Court

….Seeks 1 Billion For Damages

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Enugu State Governorship flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Dr. Peter Ndubusi Mbah, has filed  a libel suit against the Embattled Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Chief Ugochukwu Agballah, and the Lagos based Daily Independent Newspapers, demanding 1 billion naira for general damages.

His lawyers said the statement and publication by the defendants were “calculated to lower the Claimant (Mbah) in the estimation of right thinking members of the society; isolate him from the society.

They equally claimed  that the said alleged libelous publication expose their client  to hatred, odium, contempt, and ridicule; cause other persons to shun or avoid the Claimant; and discredit him in the matter of his business and political engagements”

In the lawsuit with reference number E/25/2023 filed before the Enugu State High Court, the PDP Candidate  accused Agballah and the Independent Newspapers of false and malicious publication about his person in the 30th May 2022 online edition of the newspaper.

In a Statement of Claim filed by his lawyers, Dr. Onyechi Ikpeazu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria  SAN & Co, the gubernatorial flagbearer, said Agballah accused him of joining the governorship race in order to use Enugu’s funds to pay up an alleged N40 billion business debt. 

Mbah, also accused the Enugu  APC Chairman  of labeling him a member of a criminal gang, which allegedly engaged in malicious damage to property, assault, and other criminal activities against the people of Enugu State.

According to Mbah, he was severely embarrassed by countless calls and messages from concerned family members, business and political associates, loved ones, friends and in-laws, while several Nigerians, who thought the claims to be true, condemned him in the media and social media platforms.

He added that although he had asked  his solicitors to write the defendants vide a correspondence dated 22nd July, 2022 in which he demanded a retraction of the publication and an apology as well as compensation for damaging his reputation, they chose to ignore it.

“The Defendants have not brought the publication down and accordingly will continue to defame and maliciously damage the Claimant’s reputation, unless restrained by the Court.

He is therefore seeking the sum of N1 billion as general damages, an order mandating the defendants to publish an apology to him in at least three national dailies in Nigeria, and a clear retraction of the defamatory publication made against him.

They are also demanding the sum of N 10 million as cost of the suit.

Agballa, is currently having several pending lawsuits against him at different Courts filed by members of the state chapter of APC who are challenging his membership of the party.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=85302

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