Looters list: Court dismisses Dokpesi’s right suit for lack of merit

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo yesterday dismissed a suit filed by owner of African Independ

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Dokpesi

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo yesterday dismissed a suit filed by owner of African Independent Television Chief Raymond Dokpesi against Minister of Information Lai Mohammed and Attorney General of Federation Abubakar Malami for lacking in merit.

The plaintiff had alleged that the Information Minister and Attorney General defamed his character by inclusion of his name on the treasury looters’ list.

Dokpesi had sued Mohammed for breaching his presumption of innocent right.

The statement made by Mohammed, he said, would prejudice his trial in the N2.1 billion criminal charge against him by the Federal Government.

In the same vein, the plaintiff told the court that the Information Minister on March 30, during a news conference, portrayed him as corrupt and crooked person, a dishonest man and a thief.

The plaintiff further said he had suffered considerable distress, odium, obloquy and ridicule in political analyses in the media.

He asked the court to order the defendant to tender an unreserved apology to him in major electronic and print media outlet in the country.

The media owner urged the court to grant a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servant, agents, partners, representatives from further writing and publishing defamatory words about the plaintiff.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Adeniyi disagreed with Dokpesi on the grounds that the Minister of Information was not the prosecutor at the Federal High Court Abuja in the N2.1 billion trial and he was not the judge.

“There is no way the statement made by Lai Mohammed can prejudice the plaintiff’s trial. The statement made by Lai Mohammed has no force of law.

“So, the plaintiff’s application is hereby dismissed for lack of merit.”

The court adjourned the libel suit initiated by Dokpesi against the minister till November 9.

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