May 29, 2024

Libel: Asue Campaign Council Suffers Setback, as APC Running Mate, Idahosa Slams Pastor Martins with N2Bn Lawsuit

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Olu Martins, Dragged to Court for Libel

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By Correspondent

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the September 21, 2024, Asue Ighodalo has suffered credibility crisis, same day his Campaign organization was inaugurated. The unforced media error has brought systematic setback in his media and publicity department.

Court documents obtained by Midwest Herald indicates that Hon. Dennis Idahosa, running mate to Senator Monday Okpebholo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, has dragged Pastor Olu Martins, the Deputy Director General of Asue Campaign Organization media team.

PDP governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo

Idahosa has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja after Pastor Martins circulated a story that claimed that the Federal lawmaker fled London because of the International Criminal Police Organization – INTERPOL.

The court papers described the Defendant (Pastor Martins) is as a Clergy man, politician, public commentator and social media activist in Nigeria. It added that “…at the time of the offensive publication upon which this action is founded, Defendant referred to himself as Deputy Director General, Media and Publicity Media and Publicity, Asue/Ogie Campaign Council.”

The Claimant (Hon Idahosa) avers that: “On 2nd May, 2024, an article authored by
the Defendant in person was posted by the Defendant and several other person’s on various Whatsapp Group chat pages with membership and readership across Nigeria. The said article was titled – 2024: APC Guber Candidate, Okpebholo Mocks Oshiomhole as Idahosa Returns from Foreign Trip.”

It added among other unverified allegations, that the Defendant further wrote in his article that: “It is public knowledge that Senator Adams Oshiomhole once called Dennis Idahosa a fraudster (popularly called Yahoo Yahoo 419) with several cases of fraud hanging around his neck in industrial dimensions outside the shores of Nigeria.”

Arising from these allegations, Hon Idahosa is asking the court to grant his claims against Pastor Olu Martins (Defendant), which includes: “A Declaration that the content of the online publication made vide various whatsapp group chat pages, facebook page and other social media outlets by the Defendant with the headline: ‘APC Guber Candidate, Okpebholo Mocks Oshiomhole as Idahosa Returns From Foreign Trip’ published by the Defendant on several dates including 2nd May, 2024 is libelous and discredited the personal and political reputation of the Claimant in the eyes of the general public.”

In addition, Idahosa is asking for an Order awarding the sum of N2,000,000,000.00 (Two Billion Naira) only as general, punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as the Sum of N15,000,000.00 (Fifteen Million) being cost of this action.

He avers also that: “The defamatory words, which were published on several whatsapp Group Chat pages including, PDP Formidable Leadership Forum, Edo People Assembly (EPA), News Corner Nigeria and the facebook page of the Defendant (Pastor Martins) were maliciously published by the Defendant to destroy the good personal and political reputation of the Claimant in the public
domain. The said article has been read by very many people across Nigeria (including the Federal Capital territory) and outside Nigeria.”

The court papers added that: “Many Edo people have shown their desire to vote for the Claimant’s party in the said election on account of the Claimant’s popularity.

“By reason of the malicious and defamatory publication of the Defendant, the Claimant has been injured in his reputation as a credible Nigerian citizen and politician of great admiration.

“Many of the potential voters who had hitherto expressed public support for Claimant are now retracting their steps and speaking in favour of Claimant’s rivals in the said Governorship election scheduled for 21st September, 2024, on account of the article published by the Defendant.

“The Claimant’s reputation has been consequently brought into public scandal, odium, ridicule and contempt in the estimation of right thinking members of the society and Claimant has suffered severe damages.

The case was filed by the law firm of Dr. Ehiogie West Idahosa SAN & Co.

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