June 9, 2024

Libel: Court orders substituted service on marketing institute president

Libel: Court orders substituted service on marketing institute president

By Henry Ojelu

Justice Taiwo Olatokun of an Ikeja High Court has ordered substituted service on President of the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, Idorenyen Enang in a N20 million libel suit filed against him by Marketing Edge Publications Limited.

Justice Olatokun granted the request of the claimant following an application moved by his counsel, Felix Akinisola.

The trial judge granted the claimant’s request that the court papers be pasted on the wall of the Secretariat of the institute, the front desk officer and any other staff of the institute.

The court agreed with the submission of Akinisola that the institute, which is the 1st defendant, would be an appropriate place of service on Enang, who is its President.

During resumed proceedings, the 1st and 2nd defendants were not represented in court, consequent upon which the claimant was granted leave to move his application.

Akinisola told the court that he filed an ex-parte application asking for an order of the court for substituted service on the 2nd defendant by pasting on the wall of the office and front desk officer in his office.

He argued that such service would be sufficient to bring notice of the suit to the attention of the 2nd defendant saying, “since he is the President of the institute”.

Akinisola told the court that the application is supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit stressing that in paragraph 6 of the affidavit, the deponent deposed to where the 2nd defendant would be served by substituted means.

He submitted that the 2nd defendant only known address is the 1st defendant. Justice Olatokun thereafter adjourned the matter to October 8, 2024 for report of service.

The claimant, Marketing Edge Publications Limited, in the suit marked ID/10977GCMN/2024, is praying the court for, among others damages in the sum of N20 million being damages for assault on its reputation, a reduction in the esteem of right thinking members of the society and damaging utterances by the defendant against the claimant,  and a retraction in its entirety  of the public notice made by the Institute of Marketing of Nigeria in the Punch Newspaper of Friday November 24, 2023.