The Edo State High Court in Benin City has fixed November 23, 2021, for the commencement of the trial in the suit by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commissioner Mike Igini against the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman in Edo State, David Imuse. Igini had instituted a N5billion defamation suit against the APC chairman.
The trial, which was scheduled to begin yesterday was postponed when the registrar of high court nine informed counsel that the judge will not be sitting.
Mike Igini, a resident electoral commissioner (REC) in charge of Akwa Ibom State, had instituted a suit demanding the sum of N5 billion as aggravated damages from the APC chairman.
Speaking with journalists, Edwin Okonedo, counsel to the claimant, said, “We were prepared for trial this morning only for us to arrive in court and we were told by the registrar that his lordship will not be sitting today.”
Okonedo said counsels in the case have taken another date which is November 23, 2021 to commence trial.
“The registrar said he was told this morning that his lordship will not be sitting today.
It is very unfortunate because our client was on official duty in Abuja”, he said.
In the suit with reference number B/555/2020, counsel to the electoral commissioner, Edwin Okonedo also demanded a full page unreserved apology to be published by the defendant in every edition of the Punch, Tribune, Guardian and the Sun Newspapers for seven consecutive times commencing not later than seven days after the judgement of the case.
He also prayed the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, privies and or servants howsoever called from further publishing same or similar words defamatory against him.
Okonedo said that prior to the September 19, 2020 Edo State governorship election, the APC chairman and some other persons addressed a press conference titled, “Press conference on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s criminal attempt to infiltrate INEC officers like Mike Igini’ in Auchi in Etsako West Local Government Area.”
He opined that the publication has dented the image of the claimant and people who erstwhile held the claimant in high esteem, have lost confidence in him and now avoid him.