A Benue State High Court sitting in Makurdi has directed the state governor, Dr. Samuel Ortom, to serve the National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the writ of summons in a N10 billion defamation he filed against Oshiomhole and his party.
The presiding judge, Justice Theresa Igoche granted Ortom’s ex-parte application on Friday, seeking the permission of the court to serve Oshiomhole and the APC at Abuja outside the judicial division of Benue State.
Oshiomhole had accused Ortom of having a hand in the death of two catholic priests and their parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against the governor.
Consequently, Ortom dragged Oshiomhole and the APC before the court for alleged defamation of character, demanding a whopping sum of N10 billion in compensation.
When the suit came on Friday, counsel to Ortom, Mr. Samuel Irabor moved an ex-parte application to enable him serve the court processes on the APC national chairman.
After arguing the application, the judge found merit in it granted him leave for the Defendants to be served at the APC National Secretariat, No. 40, Blantyre Street, Wuse II, Abuja.
The judge directed that Oshiomhole and the APC “have 30 days to enter appearance and file their defence.”
In his suit, Ortom had claimed that Oshiomhole and the APC assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored news conference held on July 27.
He is seeking an order of the court to declare that the allegation of Oshiomhole and the APC against him “are false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libelous of the plaintiff.”
Ortom is also seeking an order directing the defendants “to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said defamatory and libelous publication against him in the Sunday editions of 10 national dailies circulating within Benue.”