Omoyeye Sowore, activist and journalist
The Federal High Court Abuja division has said it would hear the case between Global Integrity Crusade Network (GICN) against Sahara Reporters and its Publisher, Omoyele Sowore September 30, 2020. The court has also assigned the case to Justice Taiwo Taiwo.
The GICN dragged Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, and three others before the court over publications alleged to be libellous against the Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN). Joined in the fundamental rights enforcement suit numbered: FHC/ABJ/CS/816/2020 as respondents are Kabir Akingbolu, Sahara Reporters Inc., and Vanguard Media Limited as 2nd to 4th respondents.
In the suit filed by Barrister Edward Omaha and Barrister Aham Akano, the group prayed the court to declare “that the publications by the 1st and 2nd respondents using the platforms of the 3rd and 4th respondents on 10th, 11th,12th, 13th, 14th and 18th July 2020 with the captions: ‘Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami, buys multi-million naira mansion for newly married son, guests flout social distancing guidelines during the lavish wedding ceremony.
‘Exposed: How AGF Malami granted approval to firm standing trial in court for stealing crude oil, diesel to auction goofs seized from it”, among other publications that are traumatic, damaging and defamatory to Malami, and therefore tantamount to violation of his fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, private and family life as well as Integrity.
The group also wants the court to declare that the 1st and 2nd respondents, by consistently peddling propaganda, fake news and blackmail against the AGF, using the platforms of the 3rd and 4th respondents via their websites: www.saharareporters.com, www.vanguardngr.com and other electronic means such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook are out to incite the general public against him, as well as injure his character and lower his estimation in the eyes of right-thinking persons in the society.
The group, through its lawyer, Omaha and Akano, urged the court to order a retraction of the libellous publications, tender an apology and award a sum of N2 billion to be severally paid by all respondents to Malami.