A Lagos High Court, sitting at Ikeja, yesterday, ordered that the court process in a N500 million defamation suit filed by the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, be served on the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh.
The court presided by Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye gave the order after listening to the claimant’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu. She ordered the service of all processes including the motion for interlocutory injunction on the defendant.
Consequently, the matter has been adjourned to November 17 for report of service and/or the hearing of the pending applications for interlocutory injunction filed by the claimant.
It would be recalled that the APC spokesperson slammed a N500 million suit on Metuh over alleged defamation of his character and person.
In the suit, Mohammed claimed to have been defamed by a press release allegedly authored and circulated on September 20 by Metuh.
He disclosed that the PDP spokesperson had in the statement accused him of embezzling funds meant for fencing an airport in one of the APC-controlled states in the South-West.
He also claimed that Metuh accused him of diverting money he collected to supply ambulances to one APC-controlled state in the South-West.
Metuh had, in the statement, allegedly wondered where Mohammed got the courage to speak on corruption when indeed the APC spokesman had mastered the art of corruption having been “a personal aide to one of the most corrupt politicians to ever bestride the political space of the country.”
The portion of the said release attributed to Metuh read, “…our final word for the APC spokesman on this, is that being ethically challenged, includes embezzling funds meant for fencing an airport in an APC-led South-West state.
“It also includes when one fraudulently refuses to supply ambulances after collecting monies from another APC South-West state.
“It is a comedy of roles when Alhaji Lai Mohammed speaks on corruption, a topic he practices and has well learnt, being a personal aide to one of the most corrupt politicians to ever bestride the political landscape of the country.”
Mohammed, who said he was a one-time coordinator of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Campaign Organisation, claimed that the statement credited to Metuh was carefully calculated to inflict damage on his reputation and to lessen him in the estimation of the public.
He added that Mehuh had injured his character in a grave manner and caused him considerable reputational destruction and embarrassment.
The APC spokesperson further claimed that Metuh’s lawyer, Emeka Etiaba, SAN, had in a letter dated September 25 to his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, admitted authoring the statement but denied that it was he that was being referred to.
Consequently, Mohammed is seeking an order mandating Metuh to not only retract his statement, but to also tender published apology to him in a widely read newspaper for seven consecutive days.
He is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Metuh and his privies from further publishing or disseminating libelous materials against him

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