N1bn Suit: Court Orders Substituted Service On Diezani, NNPC Staff, Four Others
An Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice M. M. Kolo, today (3rd December, 2015), ordered that the writ of summons in the N1billion libel suit instituted by a media consultant against the immediate-past Petroleum Resources Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, be pasted on the residence.
The order followed a motion ex-parte brought before the court by counsel to the plaintiff, Chris Alashi, Esq. of Fairfield Chambers. The suit’s Number CV/1679/15, it is before Court 26, which is presided over by Justice M. M. Kolo.
Other Defendants whom the court that the court papers be pasted on their residential/office addresses are: Messrs. Michael Mukwuzi, Comrade Timothy Ademola, Tokumbo Adedoja, Chioma Gabriel and Anozie Egole, who are 2nd , 3rd, 5th, 7th and 8thDefendants/Respondents respectively. Alison-Madueke is the 1st Defendant/Respondent. The other Defendants, THISDAY newspapers and Vanguard Media Ltd, 5th and 6th Defendants respectively, have already been served.
And while Mukwuzi (2nd Defendant), is a staff of the NNPC; Ademola (3rd Defendant) was the Executive Assistant to the Special Assistant to the President on Youth and Student Matters; Adedoja is a staff of THISDAY Newspapers just as Chioma Gabriel and Anozie Egole are both staff of Vanguard.
It could be recalled that on 27th April, 2015, my client, Simon Imobo-Tswam (the Defendant/Applicant) in this matter, dragged the minister before an FCT High Court for libel, mischief and the unauthorised use of his name, his platform (Network of Progressive Activists) as well as his GSM number to launder her image in the media via news-stories and advertorials.
You may also recall that in her last month in office, the former thwarted every effort to be served the court papers by the court bailiffs. Similarly, every effort to serve the court papers on her agents, Mr. Michael Mukwuzi and Comrade Timothy Ademola, and other Defendants proved abortive
Simon Imobo-Tswam, An Abuja-based media consultant is praying the court to grant him N1billion, being “General and compensatory damages,” from the Eight defendants jointly and severally for the mischievous and unauthorised use of his name, platform and GSM number to attack ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo when he alerted the nation of massive corruption in the NNPC and to as well defend the ex-Minister’s expenditure of over N10 billion on her chartered jets.
Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Honourable Minister, did not want to be served. The bailiff was either stopped at the gate by security personnel upon identifying himself or when he was allowed in, and he got to the Minister’s office, her security details told him he could not see her and ordered him out. In the end, she left office and left the country.
It was the same thing at the Media Unit of the NNPC Public Affairs Department where the 2nd Defendant, Mr. Michael Mukwuzi, was always said to be “out on special assignment.” Similarly, the 3rd Defendant, Comrade Timothy Ademola, has also been evading service.
If you investigate, you may also dscover that Mrs. Alison-Madueke knows the value of a good name and has, herself, sued parties for defaming her. She has a suit against the APC, Vanguard newspapers and its editor, Mideno Bayagbon; Leadership Newspapers and its editor, Ekele Peter Agbo; Premium Times and its editor-in-chief, Dapo Olorunyomi; Vintage Press Limited and its editor, Lekan Otufodunrin as well as the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Press Council (NPC) before an Abuja Federal High Court, presided over by Justice A. F. A. Ademola. She has also sued the Osun Defender