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Court Strikes Out Obasanjo’s Defamation Suit, Orders Ex-President To Pay N4M

A Federal Capital Territory High Court has  dismissed  a defamation case filed by  former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo and columnist Sonala Olumhense. 

The court  also instructed the former President to pay a total of N4 million.

Justice Modupe Osho-Adebiyi presided over the case and awarded the sum of N2 million against each defendant, Obasanjo and Olumhense, as the cost of the action.

 The lawsuit stemmed from a January 27, 2019 article published by Punch Newspaper, which allegedly defamed Obasanjo’s character.

Obasanjo, represented by his lawyer Kanu Agabi, had initially sought N1 billion in damages, describing the article as “false, malicious, unjustified, injurious, scornful, distasteful, and unsavoury.” 

He claimed that the publication subjected him to public ridicule and disdain.

In response to the court’s ruling, counsel for Obasanjo applied for the discontinuance of the case, which was granted by Justice Osho-Adebiyi. 

However, the defence lawyers, R.O. Adakole and Sam Ogala Esq, representing Punch Newspaper and Olumhense respectively, demanded the payment of N3 million as costs incurred for travels and filing of processes.

The judge deliberated on the matter and ultimately awarded the sum of N2 million to each of the defendants as the cost of the action.

 The ruling marked the end of a legal battle that centered on allegations of corruption and mismanagement of public funds during Obasanjo’s presidency.

The contentious article penned by Olumhense accused Obasanjo of squandering public funds, particularly highlighting issues surrounding electricity infrastructure and road projects.

 It criticized his administration’s handling of anti-corruption efforts, alleging selective prosecution and lack of transparency.

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