By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed an appeal a former governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Rivers state, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, filed to challenge a N6billion defamation suit that was filed against him by a former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili.
The apex court, in a unanimous judgement by a five-man panel of Justices, held that the appeal lacked merit.
Though the lead verdict was prepared by Justice Amina Augie, it was however delivered by Justice Adamu Jauro.
It will be recalled that Odili had in October 2016, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court Port-Harcourt, wherein he claimed that Peterside who was then the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, defamed him through a newspaper publication in February 2016, and consequently demanded N6bn damages as compensation.
Peterside was alleged to have said in a press conference that Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, had during a victory thanksgiving service, stated that Odili helped him (Wike) to secure the judgement that gave him (Wike) victory.
However, Odili described the statement credited to Peterside as false and malicious, insisting that Wike never said that he (Odili) helped him to secure election victory at the Supreme Court.
Odili had through his team of lawyers led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Kanu Agabi, SAN, urged the court to dismiss the appeal by Peterside and enter judgment in his favour.
On his part, counsel to the Appellant, Mr. Damian Okoro, prayed the apex court to allow the appeal, a request the court refused on Friday.