A civil rights activist and member of the Buhari Media Support Group, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, has sued a blogger and US-based lawyer, Emeka Ugwuoye, over a libellous publication on Facebook.
The plaintiff, who is a volunteer in Buhari’s Support Organisation, is demanding N1bn as damages as a result of the publication, which she said did tremendous damage to her reputation.
According to her, if the defendant is not restrained, he will further publish injurious articles against her. Onochie in the suit filed by her counsel, Festus Keyamo, at the High Court in Abuja, and obtained by journalists on Sunday, also demanded a retraction and an unreserved apology from the defendant for the words he had used with her photograph.
According to the court papers, no fewer than 163 persons have ‘Liked’ the post, while over 80 people have ‘Shared’ it with 198 ‘Comments.” Ugwuoye had in the post entitled, “A major break in tracking of the Dubai Madams and their agents – A key Madam revealed as a socialite with apparent connections to (sic) Nigerian politicians,” published on January 21 2016, in his Due Process Advocates Facebook page, alleged that Onochie, using names like Aunty Lolly, Madam or Aunty, operates an international girls trafficking ring across the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Greece for prostitution.
The plaintiff, therefore, asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, whether by himself, agents, privies or servants from further publishing or causing to be published any libellous, injurious or defamatory words against her.
In her statement of claims, the plaintiff, who is a grandmother and a member of the All Progressives Congress, averred that the defendant falsely and maliciously described her as “an international human trafficker who belongs to a powerful network of criminal gangs and racketeers.”
While describing the allegations as false and untrue, she added that the defendant did not conduct any investigation before publishing them.