The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has dragged prime-mover of an online newspaper, ‘’Cable Newspapers Limited’’, Mr Simon Kolawole before the Federal Capital Territory High Court over alleged publication of false and defamatory article on his platform.
Malami said the three false and defamatory articles Simon Kolawole published on his online news platform on December 22, 2017, April 9, 2018 and May 7, 2018 has exposed him to ridicule, hatred and contempt from his associates, colleagues and constituents.
Consequently, Malami asked the court to make an order compelling Simon Kolawole and his online newspaper to pay him the sum of N5 Billion as general damages for the injury to reputation of office of the AGF and accompanying consequential psychological and mental tortures/stress suffered by him from the Defendants’ defamation.
‘’By the defamatory publications the integrity of the office of the 1st Claimant (AGF) and the person of the 2nd Claimant (Malami) has been lowered both locally and in the comity of nations the recovered Abacha loot of $321 Million having been recovered from a foreign land.
“The 2nd Claimant states that he has enjoyed the rare privilege of getting to the top echelon of legal practice as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and acting as the number one law officer in the Federation because of the high regard and trust reposed in him by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the good people of Nigeria, the legal community and the international community. However, following the disparaging, false and defamatory publications by the Defendants he has been exposed to ridicule, hatred and contempt from his associates, colleagues and constituents,” Malami claimed
He asked the court to declare the said articles titled ‘Exclusive: Sleaze hits $321m Abacha loot recovery as Malami creates ‘job for the boys’, Abacha Loot: Adeosun blocks $17m dubious payment to Malami’s lawyers’ and Exclusive: US blocks Malami’s lawyers from taking a cut on $500m Abacha Loot’ published on December 22, 2017, April 9, 2018 and May 7, 2018 respectively as defamatory against him.
AGF asked the court to direct the Defendants to remove from their server in its entirety the said defamatory articles published by the Defendants on or about 22nd December, 2017, 9th April, 2018 and 7th May, 2018 respectively or any similar article whatsoever.
The trial court was also enjoined to direct the Defendants to issue a public apology and retraction of the defamatory publications and cause such apologies and retractions to be published in www.thecable.ng and in four (4) national dallies in Nigeria with wide readership.
In suit filed on his behalf by Amr Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), Malami asked the court further to make an of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants either by themselves, agents, servants, privies or through any other person(s) from further writing or publishing the said or similar words against or in respect of the Claimants.
Malami who threatened that if the defendants failed to enter appearance within fourteen days after the service of this writ on them, inclusive of the day of such service, that he may proceed, and judgment may be given in their absence, insisted that the cost of this suit would also be borne by the defendants.