A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja on Tuesday adjourned till November 17, 2015 to hear the N500m defamation suit filed by the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, against his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Olisa Metuh.
Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye, who is presiding over the case, directed Mohammed’s lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, to ensure service of all the court papers on Metuh and adjourned till November 17 for report of service and hearing of the pending application.
Mohammed, who claimed to have been defamed by a press release allegedly authoured and circulated on September 20, 2015 by Metuh, had last week filed the N500m defamation suit.
Mohammed alleged that Metuh, in the said release, accused him of embezzling the funds meant for the fencing an airport in one of the APC-controlled states in the South-West.Mohammed also claimed that Metuh said he (Mohammed) obtained money to supply ambulances to one APC-controlled state in the South-West but never did so.
Mohammed further claimed that Metuh, in the statement, had 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.”
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.
Mohammed, who is a ministerial nominee, claimed that Metuh had injured his character in a grave manner and caused him considerable reputational destruction and embarrassment.
He 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.