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N10bn Libel Suit: Ortom Seeks Definite Hearing Against Oshiomhole

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, on Thursday, urged a Makurdi High Court to fix a date for definite hearing in his N10 billion libel suit against a former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole and the APC.

Ortom sought for definite hearing against the former party chairman over his alleged unseriousness with an out-of-court settlement.

The former APC Chairman had asked for an out-of-court settlement with Governor Ortom, a move which was communicated to the court on October 13, 2020.

Consequently, the Presiding Judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman, had adjourned the case to October 29, 2020, for a report on the out-of-court settlement.

But, after two adjournments, with the last one done on December 16, 2020, the case resumed Thursday for a report on the out-of-court settlement earlier canvassed by Oshiomhole.

Ladi Achibong, who held the brief of Ortom’s counsel, Samuel Irabor, told the court that the out-of-court settlement had failed, and it appeared the defendants are not serious with the out-of-court settlement.

Archibong submitted that she had the express instruction of Irabor to ask the court to fix a date for definite hearing of the N10 billion libel suit against Oshiomhole and the APC.

The defendants, Titus Akuha, who held the brief of counsel to Oshiomhole and the APC, Festus Jumbo, opposed the submission of Ortom’s lawyer.

Akuha, however, observed that all the terms of the settlement have been met, except one issue that is still remaining, so the settlement cannot be said to have failed.

Justice Ityoyiman, after listening to counsels to the parties in the suit, adjourned the case to February 26, 2021, for a report on the out-of-court settlement or definite hearing.

Ortom had earlier filed the libel suit against the former APC chairman over his comments against him in an alleged APC sponsored press conference held on July 27, 2018, wherein Oshiomhole accused Governor Ortom of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government of Benue State on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against him .

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Copyright 2021 SIGNAL. Permission to use portions of this article is granted provided appropriate credits are given to www.signalng.com and other relevant sources.

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