Prince Uche Secondus, the National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has finally dragged , Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture to court for defamation of his character following a recent list released by Mohammed.
Recall that the Minister in a recent list released by the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari included the name of Secondus in the list of those he claimed looted the nation’s treasury. The contentious list, which many view as witch-hunting for politicians in the opposition party claimed that the PDP Chairman collected N200 million from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Alhaji Sambo Dasuki.
The PDP chieftain promptly dissociated himself from the allegation and said he never collected money from the former NSA.
Prince Secondus had through his lawyer, Mr. Emeka Etiaba, wrote to the Minister few days back, seeking that his name be immediately removed from the purported list and a payment of N1.5 billion as damages. The lawyer also sought public apology within 48 hours for Chief Secondus all of which were not forthcoming from the rampaging minister and hitman of the All Progressive Party (APC).
The letter directed Alhaji Mohammad to note that if he failed to meet their demands after 48 hours, Secondus and his legal team would within 72 hours from the date of the letter, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to ventilate their clients right under the law and shall further seek the protection of the court against Alhaji Mohammad.
A statement issued yesterday by Secondus’ Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ike Abonyi, said; “Having failed to meet the demand, Prince Secondus on Friday April 6, 2018, made good his threat and filed a suit at the Port Harcourt, High Court, Rivers State, claiming among other things, that the court awards to him the sum of N1.5billion being damages for humiliation, castigation, vilification attack on his person and integrity as a result of the publication.
Secondus in the suit no/PHC/1013/2018 is also claiming that Lai Mohammad’s publication is defamatory and is asking the court to direct him to retract the said publication and apologise in writing. He is also asking Mohammed to publish the retraction and apology in all the social media including The Nation, Daily Sun, Guardian, Thisday and Punch newspapers as well as air same on television stations that include Channels and NTA, among others, where the defamatory stories were earlier published.
The PDP Chairman is also seeking from the court a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing defamatory materials against him. Joined in the suit are of course the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Attorney General of the federation and the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation newspapers.