Edo State High Court siting in Benin City, Thursday, declined hearing into a case of alleged defamation of character instituted by a former Edo State All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernitorlial candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, against Rita Ebiuwa, chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over outright breach of COVID-19 protocol.
The presiding Judge, Justice J. l. Acha who noted that the case was formerly filed on 16 February, 2021, by Counsel to the Clamant, Mathar Mago, ordered that the case’s file be quarantined for fourteen days before it can be heard in line with COVID-19 procedure.
In suit No B/488/2020 between Pastor Ize-Iyamu and Rita Ebiuwa, the claimant, among others, is demanding for N500,000,000.00 as demages over alleged libelous publication against his person said to have been published on 19/7/ 2020 by the defendant on Facebook and other social media.
The cliamant also want a decalaration by the court that the statement published on social media plaforms especially Facebook and syndicated amongst other groups was malicious, defamatory and bringing him to hatred, ridicule and public odium.
Osagie had equally sought an order of the court directing the defendant to publish an approved former letter of apology and a retraction of the purported libelous publications in no fewer than seven national dailies.
However, Counsel to the defendant, Martin Omo Ighekpe, in his ealier response said the alleged libelous cliams against his client by Ize-lyamu was not only misleading, malicious and gold digging, adding that his client was never the author of the said publication as same was circulated globally on facebook.
The court thereafter adjourned hearing into the case till April 1st, 2021.