Former Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Musiliu Obanikoro, has dragged two Nigerian online newspapers, Sahara Reporters and Premium Times, before a Lagos High Court for defamation of character.
Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, General Editor at Premium Times, Festus Owete and also joined in the suit are Punch Newspapers Ltd,.
The defendants are accused to have published an audio recording of the plaintiff, purportedly having a conversation with other individuals to rig the Ekiti State gubernatorial election, an allegation which has been denied by Obanikoro and the others involved in the said conversation.
The former Minister, in the suit filed on his behalf by Dr. Yemi Oke of MJS Partners, at the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, prayed the Court to request the defendants to pay him damages amounting to N1 billion.
Obanikoro, who was a PDP governorship aspirant in Lagos, is seeking “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from publishing or causing to be published, either directly or indirectly, defamatory, damaging, offensive or degrading statements, articles and/or materials against the claimant.
“An order directing the defendant to jointly or severally pay to the claimant the sum of N1 billion, being damages for harm caused to his political, professional, business, social and institutional reputation, as a result of the defamation, by willful and scandalous publication of false statements by the defendants.
“An order directing the defendants to retract the false and damaging publication by a letter of apology directed to the claimant and published on the same media through which the defamatory publication was circulated.
“An order of Court for the cost of this suit against the defendants,” he prayed through his counsel.