For publishing an audio recording purportedly containing conversations between some government top functionaries and military planning the rigging of the June 21, 2014 Ekiti State governorship election, one of the actors mentioned, former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, has dragged three media houses to court for defamation of his character.
They are online media Sahara Reporters and Premium Times as well as Punch Newspapers Ltd. also joined in the suit are Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of Sahara Reporters and Festus Owete, General Editor at Premium Times.
Filed at the Lagos State High Court Ikeja on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, Obanikoro sued the defendants for damages to the tune of N1 billion.
The suit, filed by his lawyer, Dr. Yemi Oke of MJS Partners, is seeking “1.) An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from publishing or causing to be published either directly or indirectly, defamatory, damaging, offensive or degrading statements, articles and/or materials against the claimant, 2.) An order directing the defendant to jointly or severally pay to the claimant the sum of N1 billion being damages for harm caused to his political, professional, business, social and institutional reputation as a result of the defamation by willful and scandalous publication of false statements by the defendants, 3.) An order directing the defendants to retract the false and damaging publication by a letter of apology directed to claimant and published on the same media through which the defamatory publication was circulated and 4.) An order of court for the cost of this suit against the defendants.”
Obanikoro also hired Tacopina & Seigel to handle the case against Sahara Reporters in New York, USA.
Tacopina & Seigel is one of New York’s top law firms reputed for their groundbreaking defense of celebrity baseball player, Alex Rodriguez in his case against the 211-game doping suspension slammed on him by Major League Baseball (MLB).
The defendants, according to the suit, have 42 days to prepare their defense and make an appearance in court to defend themselves in the Lagos suit.