Godwin Tsa, Abuja
A former president of the Senate, Anyim Pius Anyim, has slammed a N500m libel suit against an online outfit and two other individuals over the publication of a false report accusing him of destroying farmlands in Ebonyi State.
In the suit filed before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Anyim is demanding judicial orders against Moses Orji, Ogbonna Paul Arochukwu, and the Independent Communications Network Ltd for what he described as “baseless, unfounded and malicious publication” of unlawful seizure of land against him.
In the said suit, Anyim is demanding against the defendants the sum of N500m as “aggravated, punitive and exemplary damages over the embarrassment, public odium, derision, ridicule, obloquy, mental agony and psychological trauma which the defendants’ publication has caused the claimant.”
Beside the sum of N100m cost of the action, Anyim is also demanding an order of the court restraining the defendants from making such further publications, and to make a full-page written apology in major national dailies such as Vanguard, Thisday, Daily Trust, Punch, The Nation, The Guardian, and the Sun newspapers.
According to Anyim in the processes filed before the court, though he is a member of the community, he was not a member of the committee constituted by the community to partition and allocate communal land to members of the community.
In his statement of claims, Anyim stated that the process of partitioning and allocation of the communal land had been on for over 15 years now. He stressed that the committee is not answerable to him and does not take orders from him, as the publication was false and a carefully calculated plan to defame his person.
He said the medium did not verify from him before making the publication, explaining that the publication was driven by “malice aforethought and intent to inflict maximum damage to my name and character, and reputation.”
No date has been fixed for hearing.