The acrimony between former Governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and his successor, Governor Rochas Okorocha is about to take a new turn as the former has slammed a N2billion libel on Okorocha’s spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo.
The suit is based on the allegation that Ohakim assaulted a Catholic Priest while in office as Imo State Governor between May 2007 and 2011.
Ohakim in the suit with number HOW /414 /2017, filed by H. N Duruoha claimed that the alleged publication had portrayed him as a person without respect for religion, and capable of assaulting a priest.
The former Governor is demanding N2b as cost of damages caused by the alleged libelous publication and another N5m as cost of legal representation and assistance in the suit.
Ohakim is also seeking a court order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from issuing and publishing further libelous articles against his person.
Joined in suit is White paper media limited, publishers of the Whitepaper Newspaper, a newspaper published and circulated in the state which the former Governor claimed is owned by Onwuemeodo.
According to him, Onwuemeodo in the press statement alleged that he flogged a Catholic church Priest while in office as Imo State Governor, a claim Ohakim said Onwuemeodo knew to be false, saying “the plaintiff, to the knowledge of defendants never flogged any indigene or assaulted a priest at any time, including during his tenure as the executive Governor of Imo State”.
Ohakim said the defendants simply wanted to achieve a cheap political point for the government of Imo State and make financial profit from the sale of the libelous publication.
The former Governor who has in recent times picking holes against the governance style of Governor Rochas Okorocha alleged that the contentious publication has cast him in negative light and made him topic of discussion and ridicule in all political circles and social media.
Further, he alleged that it has exposed him to public ridicule and odium, scandal “while his character, credit and reputation were brought into disrepute, both in Nigeria and abroad”, the affidavit read in part.