Dakuku loses bid to stop N6bn libel suit

The Director-Gen­eral of the Nigeri­an Maritime Ad­ministration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, has lost the bid to stop a N6billion libel suit filed against him by former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, before a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.
Odili had filed the defamation suit against Peterside, who was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 general elections in the state, for alleging at a press conference that the former gover­nor helped Governor Nyesom Wike to win at the Supreme Court.
According to the NI­MASA boss, Wike dur­ing his victory thanks­giving service had stated that Odili helped him to secure the Su­preme Court’s victory.
In her ruling on the issue of jurisdiction and improper service which Peterside raised, the trial judge and Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Laminkara, said that the claim by the defendant that he was served notice of the suit through a wrong ad­dress did not hold as there was no difference between the address of the defendant and the one where the notice was served.
Laminkara also ruled that the court has juris­diction to hear the suit and awarded a cost of N40,000 against Peter­side.
But his counsel, Mr. Rowland Otaru (SAN), had told the court that his client was not prop­erly served the writ of summons and was therefore denied the right to fair hearing.
After Odili was cross-examined by Otaru , the judge adjourned the matter till February 23, 2017 for continua­tion of hearing.
After the court ses­sion, Otaru told news­men that hewill take other desirable steps to ensure that the court sets aside its October 11, 2016 ruling where it ordered a substituted service on Peterside.

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