By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Justice Augustine Ityoyiman of the Makurdi High Court has turned down the stay-of-proceedings application filed by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole in the N10billion libel suit instituted against him by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue.
The APC National Chairman had approached the Court to stay proceedings in the matter pending the hearing and determination of his interlocutory appeal at the appellate court challenging the October 18, 2019 ruling of the Court.
The trial court had on the said day struck out a motion brought before it by Comrade Oshiomhole urging the court to dismiss Governor Ortom’s suit over the non-joinder of the media organizations and social media platforms that reported his press conference of July 28, 2019.
However, in his ruling on the application Justice Ityonyiman held that the reasons advanced by the defendant for the stay of proceedings were not cogent and lacking in merit.
He declined the application but however granted Comrade Oshiomole leave to file his interlocutory appeal at the Court of Appeal and adjourned the case to December 13, 2019.
Governor Ortom in the suit among others, averred that Comrade Oshiomhole allegedly assassinated his character and damaged his reputation when in an APC sponsored press conference held on Friday, July 27, 2018, accused him of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom community in Gwer local government area on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against the Governor.