Rivers State High Court in Port Harcourt has granted an order restraining the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, from further publishing the name of the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Uche Secondus, in his looters’ list.
Although the defendants or their representatives were absent in court, the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Iyayi Laminikara, who presided over the matter of libel, also asked the plaintiff to serve the defendant with the appropriate notice.
Mr Secondus had on March 31, 2018, demanded a public apology and the sum of N1.5billion as compensation, following the list of alleged looters revealed by the Federal Government.
He made the demand in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, one day after the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the PDP chairman was among those who allegedly looted the nation’s treasury.
According to the list released, Secondus was alleged to have received the sum of N200million from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) on February 19, 2015.
The PDP National Chairman, however, gave the minister 48 hours to withdraw the statement against him and tender a public apology, or face litigation.
Having Failed to meet the demand, Mr Secondus on April 6, 2018, Mr Lai Mohammed, to court for defamation of character.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Ike Abonyi, “the PDP National Chairman made good his threat and filed a suit at the Port Harcourt High Court in Rivers State.
“In the suit no/PHC/1013/2018, he asked the court to award him the sum of N1.5b as damages for “humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.”
He also claimed that the list published by the minister was defamatory and urged the court to direct Mohammed to retract the said publication and apologise in writing.
However, in today’s sitting, counsel to Mr Secondus who led other Senior Advocates to court, Emeka Etiaba, explained to journalists that the matter is on course.
The case has been adjourned till May 28, 2018.