COURT DISMISSES N50M SUIT AGAINST RANDLE
A FEDERAL Capital High Court, Wuse, Abuja has dismissed a suit brought against Bashorun J. K. Randle by one Mr. Kayode Sunmola, seeking N50 million general damages for an alleged defamatory publication against him.
In the suit, the plaintiff, Sunmola averred that the defendant, Randle, damaged his character , injured his professional reputation and brought his name and integrity to ridicule through a letter the defendant wrote to Skye Bank Plc.
The plaintiff prayed the court to grant him an order of perpetual injunction restraining Randle from further publication of such a defamatory statement, an order directing the defendant to retract the publication, tendering an unreserved apology and payment of N50 million general damages.
In the letter, the defendant among others was alleged to have accused the plaintiff of misusing and mismanaging an undisclosed amount of money belonging to the firm of J. K. Randle and Co.
The judge, Justice O. O. Goodluck after examining the prayers by the plaintiff admitted that though there was indeed a publication in writing of a defamatory words by the defendant, and communicated to the third party, the words were however true.
Justice Goodluck further held that the entire transactions by the plaintiff left a sour taste in the mouth.
In the words of the judge 'the entire transaction, from the transfer of the firm's account to an unknown branch, the diversion of the funds for his personal use and benefit being a managing partner or an employee bears the full coloration and semblance of fraud.'
On the claim by the plaintiff that his name and integrity had been impugned, Justice Goodluck said: ' The plaintiff in the present scenario has palpably dented the high values of integrity, honour and credibility which he ascribes to himself … (because) the plaintiff actually diverted cheque into the account and siphoned all the monies within a few days of lodgement.'
Dismissing the suit, the judge said: 'The conclusion is irresistible that the plaintiff's transaction were fraudulent as it relates to the accounts of the firm J. K. Randle & Co with Skye Bank. This action is accordingly dismissed.'
The judge awarded N1000,000 cost in favour of the defendant.