Nigeria: Oshiomhole Must Retract Falsehood Against Me - Ortom

27 October 2020

Makurdi — Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, on Tuesday, said despite forgiving the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the former APC Chairman must retract falsehood peddled against him.

Daily Trust reports that a fortnight ago, the ex-APC chairman had sought for an out-of-court settlement in the N10 billion libel suit instituted against him by Governor Ortom.

Ortom, who made the remark when he played host to members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) correspondent chapel in Makurdi, confirmed that Oshiomhole was currently negotiating terms of the settlement with him.

"I have forgiven him and as long as he is able to retract, we will put that behind us and move forward," he said.

Ortom had dragged the former APC chairman to court over his comments against him in an allegedly APC sponsored world press conference held on July 27, 2018, wherein Oshiomhole accused him of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a 'very critical sermon' against him (the Governor).

While the case lasted in court, Oshiomole in the early days of the suit had filed six preliminary objections which the court resolved all in Ortom's favor.

But on resumption of the case for definite hearing two weeks ago, counsel to the governor, Samuel Irabor submitted that he was ready to call his witnesses, but Oshiomhole's counsel had informed him earlier that they have considered putting up a retraction of the publication and that it will be ready within a week.

Ortom had sought reliefs of N10 billion against Oshiomole, including; "a declaration by the court that the Defendants' allegations and publication of July 27 against him are false, mischievous, unsubstantiated, defamatory and libelous.

"An order directing the defendants to publish simultaneous retractions/apologies in respect of the said libelous publication against him in the Sunday editions of 10 National Dailies circulating within Benue State as well as paid advertorials to the same effect on the prime time beats of the Nigerian Television Authority, Channels Tv, TVC News, African Independent Television, Independent Television (ITV), Benin, Radio Nigeria, Radio Benue and Harvest FM."

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