Boko Haram: General Ihejirika Sues Australian Hostage Negotiator


+Demands N100 Billion in damages
Immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Onyeabo Azubuike Ihejirika has sued Australian hostage negotiator, Dr Stephen Davis for accusing him of sponsoring the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

In a libel suit filed at the Abuja High Court, the former army chief is demanding N100 billion as aggravated damages for defamation.

The suit was filed on behalf of the former army chief by Chief Nnoruka Udechukwu, Professor C.U. Ilegbune and Ben Anechebe -all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN).

Ihejirika told the court that “he has suffered ‎grievous wrong and he has been exposed to scandal, odium, ridicule, humiliation and his character, credit and reputation brought into disrepute, both in Nigeria and abroad” on account of the libelous comments.

The retired General has secured an order of court to serve the court processes on Davis a resident of Australia.

Nigeria and Australia are both members of the British Commonwealth. A special procedure can be applied in serving court processes on a defendant living in a country that is a member of the commonwealth other than the country where the writ is issued.

Apart from seeking N100 billion damages, Ihejirika is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining Davis or his agents from further making defamatory comments about him.

The former army chief is also seeking “An order for the Defendant to publish forthwith a dull and unqualified retraction and apology conspicuously in the front page of THISDAY Newspaper to assuage the plaintiff for the said false malicious and libelous publication.

Ihejirika told the court that he retired meritoriously ‎from the military after a successful career and that he served the army without blemish.

“On or about the 28th day of August 2014, the Defendant granted a Multimedia and Television interview broadcast to AriseTv‎, which aired in Nigeria, particularly in Abuja, and subsequently published by numerous newspapers and media houses; wherein the defendant when asked during the AriseNews segment of the interview to name the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, falsely and maliciously spoke of the plaintiff in the following words, to wit:

'There is the former Chief of Army Staff, retired January, or actually sacked by the President he is another sponsor. I could give you the names if you like but I have no fear that these were very confident and it is in fact Boko Haram senior commanders who have been naming them.'”

Ihejirika told the court that the innuendos by Davis could easily be understood by reasonable members of the society who listened/watched ‎ the said AriseNews broadcast in Abuja to mean that he sponsored Boko Haram, a terrorist sect to wage war, insurrection or insurgency against Nigeria.

The former army chief added that the publication implied that he did not retire but was sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan and that he had committed treason or treasonable felony.

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