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Wike sues Nigerian newspaper for libel, demands N7b as damages

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By Vincent UFUOMA


NYESOM Wike, Governor of Rivers State has sued ThisDay Newspaper for the sum of N7 billion as damages for a story published about him by the media house on June 23, 2020.

According to a statement on Wednesday by Paulinus Nsirim, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, the suit is filed at the Port Harcourt High Court by Counsel to the governor, Emmanuel C.Ukala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria  (SAN).

The statement said  with the publication which was captioned by the newspaper as, “With Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo, Almost,” the newspaper maliciously and falsely portrayed the governor as an unreliable friend/person.

It further stated that ThisDay newspaper 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.

Consequently, the statement said the governor is demanding the court to compel the newspaper to withdraw, retract and recant the publication.

It stated that 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.

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“He is therefore seeking an order of mandatory injunction compelling the Defendants to withdraw, retract and recant the said libelous publication.

“The retraction is to be published at the front page(and to devote the whole full front page to the publication of the retraction).

“ThisDay Newspaper is also to publish an apology in the terms acceptable to the Claimant and with his prior approval at the back page( on the full back page) in the same edition on which the retraction is published, and two consecutive editions of ThisDay Newspapers,” it said.

It also added that the governor wants an order from the court restraining the “Defendants by themselves or by their servants, agents, privies and associates from further publishing the said libel or any manner however and whatsoever continuing to circulate the said libelous publication concerning the Claimant.”

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