Court grants Secondus leave to summon Lai Mohammad, FG

*Mohammed, Secondus

The Rivers State High Court has granted the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus, leave to issue a writ of summons to the minister of information and culture, Mr. Lai Mohammad and the federal government.

The River State Chief Judge, Justice A. I. Iyayi-Lamikanra who presided over the case also granted that the defendants be served by substituted means all the originating processes together with accompanying processes in ThisDay newspaper.

Mr. Ike Abonyi, media aide to Secondus said in a press statement issued in Abuja that the case, which was heard on Friday (yesterday), was adjourned to Monday, April 23, 2018.

It would be recalled that Secondus had sued Mohammed to court for defamation of character.

The minister had mentioned Prince Secondus in the list of those he claimed looted the nation’s treasury alleging that he collected N200m from the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.

However, Secondus took exception to his inclusion in the alleged looters’ list and through his counsel, Mr. Emeka Etiaba wrote to the minister seeking the immediate retraction of his (Secondus’) name, payment of N1.5 billion in damages and a public apology within 48 hours.

The letter told Mohammed to note that if he failed to meet the demand after 48 hours, “we shall within 72 hours from today, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction to ventilate our client’s right under the law and shall further seek the protection of the court against you.”

Having failed to meet the demand, Secondus on Friday, April 6, 2018, made good his threat and filed a suit at a Rivers State High Court, asking among other things, that the court should award to him the sum of N1.5bn in damages for humiliation, castigation, vilification of his person and integrity, as a result of the publication.

According to a statement signed by Abonyi, Secondus in the suit with number /PHC/1013/2018, is also claiming that Mohammed’s publication was defamatory and is, therefore, asking the court to direct him to retract the said publication and apologise in writing.

He asked that the retraction and apology be published in national newspapers, including The Nation, ThisDay, The Sun, The Guardian and The PUNCH as well as television stations such as Channels TV and NTA, where the story was published.

Secondus is also asking the court for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing defamatory materials against him.


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