Black History, Pan-African Mission

Court orders blogger, Linda Ikeji, to pay Neo black movement N30m damages

Source: Freedom Online

A Delta High Court in Effurun on Monday ordered a foremost blogger, Linda Ikeji, to pay N30 million as general damages to the Neo-Black Movement (NBM) of Africa for libelous publication.

The NBM and three others slammed a N1 billion lawsuit against Ikeji, for defamation and libel.

The lawsuit had the Registered Trustees of NBM of Africa, Ese Kakor, Felix Kupa, and Mayor Onyebueke as the claimants.

Delivering judgment, Justice Roli Daibo-Harriman also awarded N300,000 as the cost of litigations against the Nigerian blogger.

The court also ordered Ikeji to place a publication in her blog and national dailies retracting the libelous publication complained about.

Furthermore, the judge ordered Ikeji to restrain from making further damaging publications against the Claimants and members of the NBM of Africa.

In her judgment, Justice Daibo-Harriman clearly described the words, dreaded cultist group, black axe, criminal organization, and others as used by the defendant in her libelous publication as all defamatory.

The blogger in her publication of October 19, 2021, allegedly referred to NBM of Africa as a dreaded cult group, black axe, criminal organization, and other names.

Consequently, the claimants prayed to the court for an award of N1 billion only and an unreserved apology to be published in her blog and two national newspapers and among others.

The defendant was not present in court nor was she represented.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the court’s proceedings, lead counsel to the claimants, Mr Kelvin Agbroko, said that it was a well-deserved judgment.

“This will serve as a lesson to bloggers that it is not every item you publish. It is good to verify information before making a publication.

“NBM of Africa is a legal organization duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

“The publication made by the defendant against my client has been cleared that is was a damaging publication.

“NBM is good to go, we are going to take all necessary steps to enforce the terms of the judgement against her.

“It was an erudite judgment that is all encompassing and will be difficult to fault,” Agbroko said.

Also responding to the judgement, the President of NBM of Africa, Mr Ese Kakor said that the case had been on for about two years.

He said that the judgement was a warning to bloggers and other members of the public not to call people or organisations names that were not ascribed to them in a bid to blackmail or defamed their characters.

“What Ikeji did was just to sell in a bid to defame the character of NBM of Africa, it is very wrong.

“I advise other bloggers not to follow same steps as they may also face similar litigation.

“Do not try and defame people’s character. NBM has nothing to do with cultism, black axe. It is not a criminal organisation but a registered organisation,” he said.

Kakor, however, advised the public to be law abiding and do things within the ambits of the law.

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