By Peter Duru
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Augustine Ityonyiman has fixed October 13, 2020 for the commencement of definite hearing in the libel suit filed against the former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
At the resumption of the hearing, Tuesday, counsel to Oshiomole and the APC, Mr Titus Akuhwa, who held brief for the lead counsel, Mr Festus Jumbo applied for an adjournment of the matter.
Akuhwa who informed the court that the lead counsel could not put up an appearance or send the case file across to his team in Makurdi due to bad weather, applied for an adjournment promising that the matter would go ahead on the next date.
Counsel to Governor Ortom, Mr Samuel Irabor did not object to the application.
The trial judge, Justice Ityonyiman adjourned the suit to October 13 for definite hearing of the substantive matter.
Briefing journalists shortly after, Governor Ortom’s counsel said he did not oppose the application for adjournment by the defendants “because in future, they may raise the issue of lack of fair hearing even though they sought the adjournment on reason of bad weather.”
He disclosed that Oshiomhole’s legal team had already filed six notices of preliminary objections since the commencement of the matter, but the court ruled all in favour of his client.
It would be recalled that Governor Ortom instituted a N10 billion suit against Oshiomhole and his party the APC over the press conference he held on Friday, July 27, 2018, where he allegedly accused Governor Ortom of diverting bailout funds and having a hand in the deaths of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom community on the ground that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against the Governor.