According to the ruling of a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Wuse Zone 2, the former Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo is not currently allowed to publish his new autobiography titled “My Watch”.
According to Punch, the request for the order had been made by Buruji Kashamu, member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was satisfied because the book contains information related to the subject matter of the N20bn libel suit by the PDP chief against Obasanjo.
Justice Valentine Ashi issued a ruling on Friday, December 5, preventing the former President from publishing the book, while the libel suit instituted against him is pending for determination.
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The book contains mention of a letter from Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, in which the former leader claimed that Kashamu was allegedly wanted in the US over drug-related offences.
The Friday order by justice Ashi read in part:
“The defendant, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, whether by himself, his agents, servants, privies or any other person by whatever name called and howsoever described, is hereby restrained from publishing or caused to be published in the yet to be published book, ‘My Watch’ or any autobiography or biography and any extracts of same, by whatever name called or howsoever titled, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice here of.”
Additionally, both the former President and his agents are restrained “from further writing, printing, publishing or causing to be published or printed or circulated, or otherwise, publishing of and concerning the plaintiff, the statement contained in the Daily Sun (pages 47-49) and The Leadership (pages 3 to 8) newspapers of December 12, 2013, and which statements are alleged to have reproduced the letter written by the defendant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, titled: ‘Before it is too late’ or similar statements pending the determination of the motion on notice.”
The court adjourned hearing in the main suit till December 10.
It would be recalled that in a widely-publicized letter Obasanjo insisted on Kashamu being involved in a drug crime. Moreover, he later sent 6 incriminating documents to Jonathan to support his claim that Kashamu is wanted in the USA.
The scandal was followed by a long-lasting war of words and by Kashamu finally suing OBJ for intentional defamation of his character. He said that Obasanjo “maliciously and recklessly published a letter, titled, ‘Before it is too late,’ which contained words which he (Obasanjo) knew to be false”.