Former Imo State Governor, Ikedi Ohakim, has slammed a N1 billion lawsuit against Chikezie Nwadike for defamation and libel.
Ohakim dragged Nwadike before the state High Court for accusing him of being a conduit used to corruptly channel one million dollars bribe during the Labour Party, LP, governorship primaries in the state.
Nwadike had accused Ohakim of being used to corruptly influence the outcome of the LP governorship primary election in the state.
However, Ohakim described the allegation as false, malicious, wicked, and reckless.
In his suit, marked: HOW/701/2023, filed at the Owerri Division of High Court of Imo State on July 4, 2023 by his lawyer, Aloy Ejimakor, Ohakim said “on or about 23rd April, 2023, the Defendant (Nwadike) recorded in his own voice an audio which he put in the stream of viral circulation through WhatsApp social media platforms. The audio was widely listened to by many worldwide, particularly in Nigeria and Imo State.“
In summarizing to the Court what was contained in the viral audio, Dr Ohakim stated that “the Defendant made and published the foregoing audio allegations, purporting that the Plaintiff (Ikedi Ohakim) was complicit in and a participant in the conduit used to corruptly channel $1,000,000 bribe which was used to corruptly influence the outcome of the Labour Party gubernatorial primary that was conducted in Imo state recently.”
Continuing, the former governor said in the suit that “the defendant’s utterances as aforesaid were false, malicious, wicked and reckless and they were heard worldwide, including particularly in Nigeria and Imo State”. And that “the publication and circulation of said audio have seriously injured his fine character, credit, reputation and integrity.“
Ohakim prayed the court to order Nwadike to pay him the sum of one billion naira as exemplary damages for the defamation of his character.
The former governor urged the court to declare that the allegations made in the viral audio by Nwadike are “slanderous, libelous and defamatory. He also seeks an order of the court “directing the defendant to retract the allegations made on the said audio through another audio of his own making and voice and publish/circulate same in the stream of same WhatsApp Messenger social media platforms.”
Additionally, the former governor is seeking an order of the court directing Nwadike “to write and deliver to the plaintiff, an unreserved letter of apology,” and an order of “perpetual injunction restraining the Defendant from further and forever uttering and publishing the said slanderous and libelous words about or concerning the Plaintiff.”