Sunday, June 21, 2015

Okoroji loses N750m libel suit against Onyeka Onwenu

A Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square has dismissed a N750m libel suit filed by the Chairman, Board of Copyright Society of Nigeria, Chief Tony Okoroji, against a popular Nigerian musician, Mrs. Onyeka Onwenu.
Okoroji had approached the court claiming that Onwenu was responsible for an article  in the Vanguard Newspapers of October 14, 2011 which Okoroji considered to be a deliberate attempt to malign or defame him.              
In the said publication, which Okoroji described as “unjustified, unwarranted, malicious, wicked, reckless and libellous,”  it was claimed that he diverted N3m donated by the Cross Rivers State Government towards the final burial of the late Nigerian musician, Essien Igbokwe.
The said article had been published after Onwenu sent an email to members of the late Igbokwe burial committee accusing Okoroji of diverting N3m donation into his private bank account.
Both Okoroji and Owenu served on the committee for the final burial of Igbokwe.
Okoroji in the suit asked for an order directing Onwenu to pay him N750m as general damages and to tender  a full page “unreserved apology to be published in every edition of the Vanguard, The Guardian and www.vanguardngr.com for seven consecutive days.”
But Onwenu, through her lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje, in response to Okoroji’s claims, argued that Okoroji failed to link Onwenu to the said Vanguard Newspaper publication.
The judge held, “For words to be defamatory of a party, the said words must have lowered that party in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public and there must be evidence of this from a person whose views of that person have been so adversely affected.
“In the absence of any evidence of what CW2, CW3 and CW4 think about the claimant upon reading the publication, which has affected the good name, reputation and estimation in which the claimant stands in the society of their fellow citizens, it cannot therefore be said that the claimant has been defamed.
“After a careful consideration of all the materials before me, I have come to the conclusion that the claimant has not been able to establish that the email alleged to have been sent to members of the of the committee by the defendant defamed him.”

Punch

1 comment :

  1. They are not busy he has money that's why he went to court

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