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Court orders Linda Ikeji to pay Neo Black Movement N30m over defamatory article

Source: The Cable NG-LifeStyle

A high court in Effurun, Delta, has ordered Linda Ikeji, the blogger, to pay N30,000,000 as general damages to the Neo-Black Movement (NBM) of Africa over libelous publication.

On October 19, 2021, Ikeji, in a publication on her blog, allegedly referred to NBM of Africa as a “dreaded cult group, black axe, and criminal organization”.

NAN reports that the NBM and three others slammed a N1 billion lawsuit against the blogger over alleged defamation and libel.

The registered trustees of NBM of Africa listed as claimants in the lawsuit include Ese Kakor, Felix Kupa and Mayor Onyebueke.

Roli Daibo-Harriman, the presiding judge, also awarded the sum of N300,000 for the cost of litigations against the blogger on Monday.

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

Ikeji was also ordered to restrain from further damaging publications against the claimants and members of the NBM of Africa.

The blogger was said to have been absent in court and neither was she represented.

Speaking after the court proceedings, Kelvin Agbroko, lead counsel to the claimants, said it was a well-deserved judgment.

Agbroko said the case would serve as a “lesson to bloggers to verify the information before making a publication”.

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

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

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

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

Reacting to the judgment, Ese Kakor, president of NBM of Africa, said the case had been on for about two years.

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

“I advise other bloggers not to follow the 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 organization but a registered organization.”

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