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N6bn Defamation Suit: Supreme Court dismisses Dakuku Peterside’s appeal against Odili

 

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal brought before it by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general election, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, seeking to set aside a judgment of lower courts on the N6 billion defamation suit filed against him by a  former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili.

Delivering judgment on the appeal, Justice Amina Augie in her lead judgment, which was read by Justice Adamu Jauro said the  appeal by Peterside , lacks merit and was consequently dismissed.

The apex Court also ordered parties in the appeal to bear their cost.

Odili had, in October 2016, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court,  Port Harcourt Division wherein he claimed that Peterside had defamed him through a newspaper publication in February 2016, and consequently demanded N6 billion damages as compensation.

As at the time of the defamation allegation, DaKuku Peterside was the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Peterside was alleged to have said in a press conference that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, during a victory thanksgiving service, alleged that Odili helped him (Wike) to secure the judgement that gave him (Wike) victory.

But Odili had described the statement credited to Peterside as false and malicious, insisting that Wike never said that he (Odili) helped him to secure election victory at the Supreme Court.

However, the matter which came up for judgment at the Apex court on Friday, was  dismissed, in a unanimous judgement of the five member panel of Justices of the court , headed by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, that took final arguments for and against the appeal in February 2022.

Lead counsel to Odili, Kanu Agabi (SAN), had urged the court to dismiss the appeal by Peterside and enter judgment in favour of his client, while Damian Okoro, counsel to Dakuku Peterside, prayed the apex court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the N6 billion  defamation suit.

 

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