By Soni Daniel
Abuja—A Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja, has ordered the release of former President Obasanjo’s book: My Watch, which had been in the custody of the Nigerian Customs Service.
Justice Valentine Ashi had late last year granted an injunction restraining Obasanjo from publishing the book following a complaint lodged by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Buruji Kashamu.
However, the judge set aside the order of injunction on Monday upon an application by Obasanjo’s lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN).
While lifting the order of injunction, the court also barred the Nigerian Customs Service from collecting demurrage on the books for the period they had been in its custody.
The court upheld Agabi’s argument that the applicant, a Peoples Democratic Party chief in Ogun State, Buruji Kashamu, who is currently pursuing a N20bn libel suit against Obasanjo in the same court, suppressed vital facts to obtain the order.
Kashamu, had on December 10, 2014, obtained the injunction from the court through an ex parte application which he filed in his N20bn libel suit against Obasanjo.
Kashamu had predicated his prayer on the argument that part of the book related to the subject matter of the libel suit – a letter dated December 2, 2013 written by Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Kashamu had instituted the libel suit against Obasanjo having been dissatisfied with his being described by the former President in the letter which was widely published in the electronic and print media as a fugitive wanted for drug offences in the United States of America.
On December 8, 2014, Justice Ashi granted an ex parte application restraining Obasanjo from publishing the book pending the determination of the libel suit.