Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian Minister for Information and Culture has instituted a suit before a high court in Abuja against an online media platform over allegedly false and libelous publication against him.
The Minister is contending that the said publication is “untrue, malicious, unfounded and wicked” and had injured his character and reputation.
Mr Mohammed is therefore seeking the court to grant him N100 billion in damages against the news platform for the mental distress he suffered as a result of the publications according to NAN.
In the writ of Summons, the minister averred that on August 3, 2021, Pointblank News published an exclusive story about him titled “Lai Mohammed in N10 billion Fraud Scandal as ICPC swoops on NBC”.
He claimed his lawyer then sent a letter asking the media platform to retract the said publication. However, the platform failed to retract the said publication. hence, he approached the court seeking redress.
He said on August 11, the platform published another article against him titled: “Lai Mohammed, NBC head for showdown over N10 billion Fraud, Minister in Hot Deal with Interpol Most Wanted.”
“The defendants made a publication described as ‘Exclusive Pointblanknews.com investigations’ and written under the very bold banner and title: ‘Lai Mohammed in N10 billion Fraud Scandal as ICPC swoops on NBC” which was published on Aug. 3, 2021.
“They published another one tagged as ‘Lai Mohammed, NBC head for showdown over N10 billion Fraud, Minister in Hot Deal with Interpol Most Wanted” publishes on Aug. 11, 2021,″ he said.
The Minister claimed that the content of the said publications were false and were meant to defame his character. He claimed he received calls from so many people due to the said publication.
The Minister is asking the court to award N50 billion aggravated and exemplary damages against the defendants for libel.
He also sought the court to award another N50 billion general damages against the defendants for alleged libelous publication as it injured his character and reputation
He asked the court to order the defendants to retract the said publications and apologise to him publicly in two national newspapers.
Mr Mohammed also asked the court to order the two defendants to respectively write an undertaking to desist from further publishing defamatory words against him.
Libel is a published false statement that is damaging to a person’s reputation.
While the Minister is the plaintiff, the defendants in the suit are Mr Johnson Ude, the publisher of the online media and Uduma Mba the Editor of the medium.
The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge and no date has been fixed for mention.
Recall that Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing had instituted a N2 billion defamation suit against Leno Adesanya the Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Power and Transmission Company Ltd and two national dailies over alleged disparaging publication against him.Follow us on social media