Court Dismisses Natasha Akpoti’s N5bn Defamation Suit against Yahaya Bello

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, has struck out a defamation suit instituted by a Senatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, against Governor Yahaya Bello.

In a ruling delivered on Friday June 16, 2023, by Justice Idris Mua’wiya, the Court struck out the defamation suit marked “CV/412/2022” for being incompetent.

The suit, filed on behalf of Akpoti-Uduaghan by the Chambers of Femi Falana, SAN, was struck out upon the objection challenging the competence of the suit by Counsel to Kogi State Governor, Abdulwahab Muhammed, SAN.

Counsel to the plaintiff had sought to amend the defective suit upon receipt of the preliminary objection filed by Muhammed, SAN.

The Court, in striking out the suit, agreed with the submission of counsel to the Kogi State Governor that an incompetent originating process cannot be amended.

Akpoti-Uduaghan had, last November, dragged the Kogi State Governor and others to court for allegedly defaming her character.

She had claimed N5 billion damages over a publication in which the state government called on security agencies to invite her for questioning on what it described as her public defence of an alleged terror suspect, Ibrahim Safiu.

According to her, the said publication dented her reputation.

“An order against the defendants jointly and severally to pay the sum of N5,000, 000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) as damages for the libelous publication by the Defendants against the Claimant in their various publications.

“An injunction restraining the Defendants jointly and severally by themselves, agents or servants or otherwise from publishing or causing to be published the said similar words defamatory against the Claimant.”

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