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PDP: Secondus slams N5b libel suit against Afegbua over alleged N10bn misappropriation


*Demands public apology in media houses

*We’ve not been served – Afegbua’s lawyer

Tunde Opalana, Abuja

The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has dragged the former Edo State Commissioner for Information, Prince Kassim Afegbua to a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court Abuja claiming N5b among others for libelous publications against him.

In the case Prince Secondus is claiming that the allegation by Prince Afegbua published by several media establishments within and outside the country claiming that he misappropriated the sum of Ten billion naira belonging to the PDP libeled him as nothing of such happened.

In the writ of summons filed by Emeka Etiaba SAN against Prince Afegbua, Media Trust Ltd and the Sun Publishing Ltd, Prince Secondus is seeking “a declaration of the court that the Prince Afegbua have failed to prove that the Peoples Democratic Party generated the sum of N10, 000, 000, 000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) from sale of Nomination Forms and/or other sources since 2017.

“A Declaration that the publications complained against are false and malicious.

“A Declaration that the false and malicious publications made by the Defendants against the Claimant (the subject matter of this Suit) is Defamatory.

“And an order of this Court directing the Defendants to publish a written apology in all the News and Social media platforms including but not limited to the Daily Trust Newspaper, Daily Sun Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, The Guardian Newspaper, Punch Newspaper, Pilot, New Telegraph, The Nation, Nigerian Television Authority, African Independent Television, Channels Television among others where the Defamatory materials were published and in particular, the 2nd and 3rd Defendants’ Newspapers.

“An Order of Perpetual Injunction restraining the Defendants, their agents and privies from further making the defamatory publications against the Claimant.

“Damages for the sum of ₦5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) only, being general damages for the humiliation, castigation, vilification, attack of the Claimant’s integrity and person by the defamatory publications”.

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Prince Secondus further claimed that the publications are false and the said publications which the 1st Defendant knows to be false have brought him to odium and have seriously challenged his right standing in the society as a trustworthy character.

Prince Secondus also noted that the libelous publications “have been read by prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party, members of the Public (both Nigerians and non-Nigerians) as they were published in several news and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others operating both in Nigeria and in the whole world.

“And that the fact that the publications were read by the general public has been confirmed further by the phone calls that have trailed the said publications which calls were put across to the Claimant by his Pastors, Governors, Senators, Honourable Members of both Federal House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly, Commissioners and many prominent members of the Peoples Democratic Party nationwide.

“The publications have portrayed his personality in bad light in the estimation of the right thinking or reasonable members of the public whose perception of him are that he is a person of fraudulent character, a person lacking in sincerity and integrity; person with greedy character; an incompetent personality in management of such an exalted office of the National Chairman of the PDP; an evil and untrustworthy person; and a person not worthy of public trust”.

However, Kassim Afegbua denied the knowledge of the legal action against him as he claimed that neither himself nor his lawyers have been served the notification.

Responding, Afegbua’s lawyer Kayode Ajulo said “We have not been served. I however strongly condemned and take exception to the patently adopted unethical practice of the embattled PDP Chairman, Mr. Uche Secondus who should know better the implication of taking recourse to the media to broadcast the notice of a pending suit to our client, Prince Kassim Afegbua.

“The procedure adopted by the Plaintiff Secondus and his lawyers to say the least is unethical, unprofessional and uncharitable particularly when record has shown that there is no court order for substituted service against our client”.

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