From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Thursday, asked a Makurdi High Court to fix a date for definite hearing in his N10 billion libel suit against former chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole and the APC.
The Governor said the defendant didn’t seem to be serious with the out of court settlement which he pleaded for.
It would be recalled that the former APC Chairman had
sought for an out of court settlement with Governor Ortom, a move which was communicated to the court on October 13, 2020.
The Presiding Jugde, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman consequently adjourned the case to October 29, 2020 for report on the out of court settlement.
Daily Sun reports that after two adjournments, with the last being on December 16, 2020, the case resumed Thursday for report on the out of court settlement earlier canvassed by Oshiomhole.
When the case came up, Ladi Achibong, who held the brief for Ortom’s counsel, Samuel Irabor, told the court that the out of court settlement has failed, and it appears the defendants are not serious with the out of court settlement.
She submitted the she has the express instruction of Irabor to ask the court to fix a date for definite hearing of the N10 billion libel suit against Oshiomhole and the APC.
Titus Akuha who held the brief of counsel to Oshiomhole and the APC, Festus Jumbo, opposed the submission of Ortom’s lawyer.
He said all the terms of settlement have been met, except one issue that is still remaining,so the settlement cannot be said to have failed.
Justice Ityoyiman after listening to counsels to the parties in the suit adjourned the case to February 26, 2020 for report on the out of court settlement or definite hearing.
Recall that Governor Ortom had filed the libel suit against the former APC chairman over his comments against him in an APC sponsored press conference held on July 27,2018, wherein Oshiomhole accused Governor Ortom of having a hand in the death of two Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against Governor Ortom.