By Anayo Okoli
Umuahia-Justice Onuoha Ogwe of Umuahia High Court has adjourned,Â for 14 days, hearing in a N50 million suit filed
by Mr. Hagler Okorie, a law teacher, against an aide of Governor Theodore Orji, Mr. Stanford Ubani. Okorie is suing Ubani, Orjiâ€™s special assistant, for libel.
The plaintiff, in the suit, said Ubani on January 6, 2010, through a text message circulated false information about him, which, he said, would affect his reputation in the eyes of reasonable Nigerians and Abians in particular.
In the suit HU/6/2010, instituted by his lawyer, Mr. David Ifedilinwoke,Â Okorie said sometime in October 2009, Orji appointed him a senior special assistant on inter-governmental affairs along side Ubani, who, he said, was appointed a senior special assistant on public relations .
But, according to him, he declined the offer in writing to the Governor on the reason that he was busy with defending/completing his Ph.D thesis, which could not give him time to serve the state well.
However, in December 2009, according to him, defendant (Ubani) approached him in Umuahia, and urged him to sign a press release made by the Body of Senior Special Assistants. But he he did not sign on the grounds that he was not an aide of the governor having declined the appointment earlier.
But he claimed that Ubani, thereafter, allegedly with ill-motive, went to the governor and informed him that he (Okorie) was insulting the governor, and calling him names, â€œan allegation that was not true and known by Ubani to be untrueâ€.
He argued that the said words/publication and the words used therein in their natural, material and ordinary meaning portray him as a dishonest person, criminal, threat to the security of Orji. The adjournment followed a plea by Ubaniâ€™s lawyer, Mr. C.J. Maduka for extension of time by one week as according to him, he got the briefÂ the previous day.