Yahaya Bello, the Kogi State Governor, has dragged the senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi Central Senatorial District, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, to court after her victory at the Senatorial Election Tribunal.
This is coming just after the election petition tribunal sitting in Lokoja declared Akpoti-Uduaghan as the winner of the February 25 Kogi Central Senatorial election.
In the suit filed at the Kogi State High Court last week, Bello is suing Akpoti-Uduaghan for defamation.
He told the court that he was praying the court, among other demands, for an order restraining Akpoti-Uduaghan from making further statements about him and the sum of five billion naira as damages.
Other demands made by the governor include: “A declaration that the defendant’s oral interview aired on Arise on the 4th day of November 2022 which described the Claimant as a murderer, killer, perpetrator of evil acts and a terror to the people Kogi State is capable of and indeed, has lowered the Claimant the estimation of right-thinking members of the society.
“An order of this honourable court compelling the defendant to within 48 hours of the order of this court, publish in five (5) national dailies and also grant broadcast statement in Arise TV, AIT, NTA and Channel TV platforms, a retraction of her frivolous allegations and also tender unreserved apology to the Claimant for the defamatory statements and comments made against him.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant either acting by herself, or through agents, privies, associates, howsoever described from any publication or further broadcast of the defamatory words and statements complained of or any other similar libelous articles about the claimant or in any other manner, or online, on print or social media, or say or produce any other material on TV or radio which is capable of defaming the claimant.
“An award of the sum of Five Billion (N5,000,000,000.00) Naira only as damages against the Defendant but in favour of the Claimant for the defamatory Broadcast on Arise TV Platform made on the 4th day of November 2022.
“Cost of litigation of five hundred million (N500,000,000) naira only against the defendant.”
SaharaReporters had in July reported that Akpoti-Uduaghan sued the Bello for defamation and linking her to terrorism activities in the state.
Also charged with the governor in the suit numbered FCT/HC/CV/6529/2023 are the Kogi State Government, the state information and communications commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo, and Vanguard Media Limited.
The state government had called on heads of security agencies in Nigeria to invite Akpoti-Uduaghan for questioning over alleged terrorism capable of dragging the state back to “the dark era.”
It said despite Governor Bello’s interventions to rid the state of terrorism, it was concerned that some politicians were grooming terrorists in the state as well as importing them from neighbouring states.
Akpoti-Uduaghan is demanding the sum of N110billion in damages and an order restraining Bello from using defamatory words against her.