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Nigerian newspaper reacts to Wike’s legal suit, says it is yet to receive court papers

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By Vincent UFUOMA


THE management of ThisDay newspapers has reacted to a legal suit instituted against it by Nyesom Wike, the Governor of Rivers State.

The ICIR reported that the governor had in a statement on Wednesday through Paulinus Nsirim, the State’s Commissioner for Information and Communications,  said that he has instituted a libel suit against the newspapers to the tune of N7 bllion over a publication published by the media house against him.

According to the statement, Emmanuel C.Ukala, Esq, (SAN), Counsel to the governor who filed the case at the Port Harcourt High Court, said the publication which was captioned; “With Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo, Almost,” and published on June 23, 2020, maliciously and falsely portrayed his client by the newspaper as an unreliable friend/person.

He further stated that the media house further portrayed Wike as a selfish politician and a person who meddled in and exerts subterranean influence in judicial matters in courts sitting in Port Harcourt to achieve selfish political interest and that he is not a true democrat.

The governor, according to him, wants the court to compel the newspaper to withdraw, retract and recant the publication.

The retraction is to be published in a full front page of the newspaper, and thereafter a full page apology “acceptable” and subjected to the approval of the governor also be published at the back page of the newspaper, he said.

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However, in a telephone conversation with The ICIR on Friday, Eniola Bello, the Managing Director of ThisDay newspapers, said the media house was yet to receive any court papers from the governor or his representative, saying as far as he is concerned ‘there is no court case.’

“What case? This media house has not received any court papers from anyone. When you sue someone, you send them court papers. So if there are no court papers, we can’t be responding and talking about a suit,” Bello said.

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