Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court has fixed July 28 to commence hearing on the N20 billion libel suit instituted against former President Olusegun Obasanjo by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West, Mr. Buruji Kashamu.
This came as the duo engaged in a fresh war-of-words, with the plaintiff alleging before the court that the erstwhile President was a school dropout.
Piqued by the fact that Obasanjo in his statement of defence to the suit, described him as “a drug pusher with neither local nor international reputation”, Kashamu fired back, calling the ex-president “a social misfit.”
“The plaintiff acknowledges that the defendant (Obasanjo),was a poverty-stricken dropout from school and otherwise a social misfit who eventually found fame and fortune by joining the Armed Forces of Nigeria and benefitting disproportionately from opportunism of military adventure into governance in Nigeria.”
Kashamu told the court that “Obasanjo’s vaunted international acclaim was tested in 2008 when the former President contested for the position of the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a barely known diplomat from Egypt. The defendant (Obasanjo) was put in his place as he failed to fly the flag of the nation successfully and lost the contest disgracefully.”
Kashamu insisted that Obasanjo’s claims in his statement of defence constituted “an aggravation of the libel charge before the court.”
He said Obasanjo’s use of his “touted national and international acclaim to malign more productive members of the society is uncalled for and could be symptomatic of megalomania.”
Meanwhile, the former President who had earlier resolved not to personally testify in the matter, had in his statement of defence, described Kashamu as a notorious debtor and a man lacking in local and international reputation.
He urged the court to dismiss the suit for being “frivolous, speculative and gold digging”, insisting that no reasonable cause of action was established against him.
Kashamu had in his suit, claimed that Obasanjo, ‘murdered’ his reputation via a letter he (Obasanjo), sent to both President Goodluck Jonathan and the immediate past National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Kashamu told the court that the defendant, maliciously and recklessly published a letter titled, “Before it is too late,” which he said contained distorted facts.
He argued that the criminal imputation made against him by Obasanjo in his letter, greatly injured his public image.
He prayed the court to award in his favour, and against the ex-President, N20 billion for the damage suffered as a result of the allegation.
The plaintiff told the court that the former president specifically referred to him in the said letter as a fugitive wanted in the United States.
However, in his statement of defence, Obasanjo stood his ground, saying he had no reason to retract the words in the said letter as requested by Kashamu.
“The statement/words are correct, true and justified”, he maintained, adding, “The plaintiff has no iota of good reputation locally and internationally.
“Aside the plaintiff’s illicit drug business for which he was indicted and wanted in America, the plaintiff has penchant for taking loans from unsuspecting banks/financial institutions with intention to permanently elude/avoid repayment or liquidation of such loans.
“Further to that, the plaintiff has been judicially adjudged/confirmed a debtor by a competent court of law in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. And the plaintiff presently occupies a choice position on the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria’s list of notorious bad debtor.” [Vanguard]
Nigeria Ranks Third On Global Terrorism Index Despite Drop In Deaths – Report
Nigeria has been ranked as the third most terrorized country in the world according to a 2020 report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
The report which was released on Wednesday, ranked Nigeria third only behind war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.
According to the GTI report, Nigeria witnessed an increase in Boko Haram attacks in the period under review, witnessing her worst terrorist attack in 2019 in northeastern Borno State, where at least 70 people were killed and 10 others wounded when insurgents attacked at a funeral.
“Over the past year, Boko Haram increased attacks on military targets, with deaths rising from 26 in 2018 to 148 in 2019,” the report said.
However, the report recognized that terror-related incidents in the country fell by 27% in the same period due to a significant reduction in violence attributed to killer herdsmen.
“This reduction occurred despite a small increase in deaths attributed to Boko Haram, which has been the most active terrorist group in the country over the past decade. Deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83 percent lower than at
their peak in 2014.”
Nigeria’s Communications Minister, Isa Pantami, Loses 13-year-old Daughter
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, has announced the loss of his 13-year-old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali.
The Minister took to his Twitter account on Monday night to announce this sad news.
Pantami stated that the funeral prayer for the deceased will be conducted in Abuja on Tuesday at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2.
The post by the minister announcing the incident reads; “Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun! My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
“Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer In sha Allah. May Allah forgive and be merciful to her.”
Inna lil Laahi wa inna ilaiHi Rajiun!
My 13-year old daughter, Aishah Isa Ali (Amal) passed away just a moment ago.
Due to some necessities, funeral prayer tomorrow at Annur Masjeed, Wuse 2, immediately after Zuhr prayer in sha Allah. May Allah forgive & be Merciful to her.
— Isa Ali Pantami, PhD (@DrIsaPantami) November 23, 2020
Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.
The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.
The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.
Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.
He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.
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