High Court 5 sitting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital has rejected an application by Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, Senator Buruji Kashamu against a House of Representatives member representing Remo constituency, Hon Ladi Adebutu.
Kashamu had filled an interlocutory application seeking the court order restraining Adebutu from referring to him as a fugitive, drug baron and a wanted person in the United State of America pending the determination of a defamation suit against Adebutu.
Adebutu had, in a recent press release on the crisis within the Ogun State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, allegedly referred to Kashamu as a drug baron wanted in United State.
Delivering his ruling on the suit tagged AB/297/2016, Justice Abiodun Akinyemi said the application lacks merit and ‘it is hereby dismissed’.
Relying on Tell Communications Ltd vs Mohammed Buba Marwa, 2005, Justice Adeyemi explained that the defendant has sworn to an oath that the publication was true and could be justified.
He said, “In these cases, it was held where truth, justification, and fair comment are the defence, interlocutory injunction will not issue to restrain further publication of libel or defamation.
“I adopt and rely on those decisions as they fit this present application appropriately in my view, considering the facts pleaded and deposed to an oath by the defendants.
“I think the determination of this application is quite easy as far as I am concerned. The allegation of claim is that of defamation.
“Consequently, I agree with the Defence Counsel that this is not an appropriate instance to grant the relief sought. The balance of convenience weighs against its grant, as to grant, it will prejudice the substantive suit. Accordingly, there is no merit in the application. It is hereby dismissed.”
Lead Counsel to the defence team, Chief Ayo Odugbesan has earlier argued that his client, Hon Adebutu, stand by the allegations against Kashamu and would be ready to defend same.
Odugbesan further offered to sponsor Senator Kashamu to the United State to go and clear his name.