A High Court sitting in Port Harcourt has adjourned till 27th of February 2019 for ruling on an interlocutory injunction to stop further publication and distribution of the book written by the former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu and one other.
Justice Augusta Chukwu gave adjournment after taking motions and arguments from counsels representing the parties in the matter.
Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Peter Odili is seeking an interlocutory injunction to stop the publication and distribution of the book written by Odinkalu, titled “Too Good to Die” which he claimed is libellous against him.
The Book intended to reveal some facts about the activities of Sir Odili as Governor and how former President, Olusegun Obasanjo allegedly plotted and failed in 2006 to amend Nigeria’s Constitution for a Third Term in Office.
The court also ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear a defamation suit brought before it by the former governor of Rivers State.
Counsel to Odili, Ayodeji Adedipe, said his client filed the suit to seek redress from the injury the defendant’s publication had done to him.
He said, “Odili filed the suit on the basis that Professor Odinkalu published a book, which libelled him and that is the subject-matter of the suit. Rather than the defendants filing their defence, they raised a preliminary objection, challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.
“But today, the court agreed with us that it (court) is competent to adjudicate over this matter and directed the defendants to file their defence within seven days.
“We also used the opportunity to move our motion for interlocutory injunction to restrain them (defendants) from further publication of the book pending the determination of the case.”
Idaye Opi, counsel for the defendants, Chidi Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori, said he wasn’t pleased with the ruling of the court and would proceed to the Appeal Court.
He added, “The court ruled that it has jurisdiction to hear the matter and we don’t agree that it does; therefore, we are heading to the Appeal Court.
“Injunction restraining further sale of the book is within Rivers here and the court has no jurisdiction outside Rivers State and we have told the court this. Besides, nobody is selling the book here and no one has bought the book here too.”
Odili is demanding a published apology and N1bn cost for damages from the defendants.
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