Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu and The Sun Publishing Limited, publishers of Daily Sun, Saturday Sun, Sunday Sun and Sporting Sun, have taken Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation and its Chairman, Editorial Board, Mr. Sam Omatseye to court over defamation.
In the suit No: ED/1276GCMW/15, filed at the High Court of Lagos State, Kalu and The Sun Publishing Company (claimants) averred that Omatseye maligned them in his articles of October 12, 2015 with the title: ‘Kalu for FIFA President’ and that of October 19, 2015 entitled: ‘Shadows of a setting sun.’
In the statement of claim signed by their lawyers, Chief Charles Enwelunta and Co, the claimants stated that the first defendant (Omatseye) “is in the habit of using his said column to fight perceived enemies, malign persons and personalities, defame persons that he considers enemies of his principals and impugn the characters of innocent persons as meted to claimants in this suit.”
Kalu stated that the articles authored by Omatseye and published by The Nation portrayed him as “an illiterate and a person who is not capable of writing and maintaining a column” as well as “not capable of expressing himself in English Language as he does not know the difference between a verb and a noun.”
He stated that apart from Omatseye’s article published in The Nation, the defendants also published his picture consciously beside the libelous publication.
Kalu, an eminent businessman with diverse investments spanning publishing, oil and gas, banking, furniture-making and many others, averred that Omatseye’s articles have impacted negatively on him and on the business fortune of The Sun.
The statement of claims stated: “Defendants made the publications aforesaid with the intention and actually made persons who know the claimants both in Nigeria and abroad to shun them, and making first claimant lose business partners and colossal business deals even as second claimant lost several readers and patronages both in sales and advertisements on account of the story aforesaid.”
The claimants added that Omatseye’s articles impacted negatively upon their integrity and reputation, while The Sun’s business reputation got to the lowest ebb, as reasonable men of the society started disregarding it owing to the libelous publication.
Kalu and The Sun are asking for N2 billion from the defendants as general damages. They are also asking for an unreserved apology to be published by The Nation in at least four editions under the column maintained by Omatseye and which should also be posted on the newspaper’s website.
Also, they are asking for an order of the court directing the defendants to remove the offensive publications from the website: www.thenationonlineng.net and other internet portals belonging to the defendants.
The claimants are also asking for “order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their agents, privies, servants and associates from further writing, publishing, printing same or similar words defamatory of the claimants in any manner whatsoever.”
Source: Daily Sun