The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, Tuesday, in Port Harcourt, testifed before a State High Court in a libel suit against a popular Nigerian daily, the THISDAY Newspaper.
It should be recalled that Wike had, in August 2020, instituted a N7 billion suit being damages sought for alleged libelous publication in the THISDAY of June 23, 2020 captioned, “With a friend like Wike, Obaseki meets his PDP’s Waterloo”
Wike, testifying in the Suit No. PHC/1505/CS/2020 before the court presided over by Justice A. Enebeli, asserted that the defendants maliciously and falsely portrayed him as an unreliable friend/person.
According to him, “When you say somebody cannot be trusted; that cannot be a fair comment. When you say somebody is influencing the judiciary, that cannot be a fair comment,”
In a written statement on oath, Wike had stated that the defendants accused him of influencing the decision of the court sitting in Port Harcourt that granted an injunction restraining Godwin Obaseki from participating in the primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State in 2020.
He stated that the defendants maliciously accused him of undemocratically exerting influence on the primaries process of PDP in Edo State in aid of his ally, Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama, who was the beneficiary of the court order restraining Obaseki from participating in the PDP primaries.
The governor, who told the court that he was not even aware of the aforementioned suit by Ogbeide-Ihama against Obaseki, said the publication was reckless, false and without regard for the truth.
Wike said he was in court to seek justice and clear his name as a person from the malicious publication by THISDAY Newspaper, which portrayed him as a deceitful, untrustworthy person, who exerts subterranean influences on judicial matters and over court sittings in Port Harcourt.
The defendants in the suit are THISDAY Newspapers Limited, Leaders and Company Limited, Davidson Iriekpan, Chuks Okocha and Adibe Emenyonu.
The court adjourned the matter for further hearing till the 12th, 13th and 14th of January 2022.
Source: The Guardian Newspaper