Gov. Aminu Masari of Katsina State has demanded the payment of N10 billion as damages from Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche and Mr. Ochaika Ugwu, Chairman and Secretary of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Chapter.
Gov. Masari’s lawyer, E.O Obunadike, who announced this while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Katsina said the apology the two journalists tendered earlier was inadequate.
According to him, the two persons should also within seven days pay the money, and also publish an apology to the governor on at least 8 national dailies or face legal action.
Recall that recently the FCT chapter of the NUJ accused the governor of orchestrating the arrest of one of its members, Mr. Nelson Omonu, but later withdrew it and apologized to the governor.
Gov. Masari through his lawyer demanded N10 billion for alleged defamation of his character by Ogbeche and Ugwu, saying their press statement had injured the character of the governor.
“Members of the public, after reading the said offensive and obnoxious material in several print and online newspapers, now regard our client as grossly incompetent in his administration and management of the affairs of Katsina State,” he added.
Mr. Obunadike said, “the initial statement by the journalists had defamed the character of the governor.
“No small measure, blisteringly defamed, injured the character and hard earned reputation of our client, which was painstakingly built and nurtured over decades thereby exposing him to a lot of embarrassment, public ridicule and condemnation.
“The retraction of the first press statement should be done in eight national daily newspapers and N10 billion be paid as compensatory damages.”
“If after seven days, we do not receive any positive response, we shall be constrained in perfecting our client’s final instructions by taking legitimate steps in accordance with the provisions of the law towards initiating both criminal and civil proceedings without further correspondence.“