Justice Theresa Igoche of a Makurdi High Court has granted leave to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, to serve the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, and the APC with his writ of summons in suit No. MHC/280/2018.
Ortom through his counsel, Mr. A. Iraboh, had given Oshiomhole seven days to retract what he described as libellous and false allegations against him or be sued for libel worth N10bn.
When the suit came up for hearing on Friday, Irabor moved an ex-parte application seeking the leave of the court to serve the defendants in Abuja outside the Benue State Judicial Division.
The judge found merit in the application and approved appelant’s request by directing that the defendants be served at the APC National Secretariat, Abuja.
Once served with the writ of summons, the defendants have 30 days to enter appearance and file their defence.
Ortom had among other things, averred that the defendants, assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when Oshiomhole accused him of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and their parishioners at Mbalom community on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him.
Ortom had through his counsel declared that the defendants’ allegations and publication against him were false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libellous.
He thereby sought an order directing the defendants to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said defamatory and libellous publication against the plaintiff in the Sunday editions of 10 national dailies circulating within Benue State as well as paid advertorials with the same effect on the prime time beats of some electronic media.
Meanwhile, Ortom had commiserated with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, over the death of the chairman of its Benue State council, the late David Ukuma.
Ukuma was few weeks ago, elected chairman of the NUJ in the state.
He died in the early hours of Saturday at the State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.
The 45-year-old was until his demise, a member of staff of Radio Benue, Makurdi.
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