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N1.5bn libel suit: Chime testifies in court

By Abdulwahab  Abdulah

LAGOS — Governor Sullivan Chime of  Enugu State,  yesterday appeared before a   Lagos High Court in continuation of trial in the N1.5 billion libel case he instituted against a politician, Chief Okechukwu  Ezea and a national newspaper.

Chime is in court against Ezea, a former Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate in Enugu State, for alleged slander against him.

He was led under cross-examination by Mr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, counsel to the first defendant. The case is before Justice Kazeem Alogba.

The Governor in the suit, is praying the court to award against Ezea the sum of N1 billion, as compensation for the alleged  slander and the sum of N500 million being damages for libel against the said Newspaper.

Chime in the suit, alleged that Ezea had in a press conference he addressed  on 11 August 2007, in Abuja claimed that he (Chime) had planned to kill him for not withdrawing an election suit he filed at the election petition tribunal.

According to the Governor, the text of the press conference alongside text messages sent by Chief Ezea was later published in the Newspaper on 13 August 2007.

According to the  Governor, the LP candidate allegedly circulated a slanderous text messages from his mobile phone to several people within and outside the state, wherein he slandered him.

Under cross-examined by Mr Nwobike, which lasted for about 20 minutes, Chime told the court that he was not part of the press conference addressed by Ezea but showed  the alleged slanderous text message sent from Ezea’s mobile phone, to a state official.

He also told the court that he was aware that the first defendant had at the press conference, claimed that the Governor in collaboration with police had perfected plans to implicate him.


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