Court slams N30million damages against Linda Ikeji

A Delta State High Court located in Effurun has granted a total of N30 million as general damages against Linda Ikeji for her defamatory publication against the Neo Black Movement (NBM) of Africa.

Justice Roli Daibo-Harriman, who presided over the case, also decreed the payment of N300,000 as litigation costs by Linda Ikeji.

Additionally, the court mandated Ikeji to issue a retraction of the defamatory publication on her blog and in national newspapers.

Moreover, Linda Ikeji, identified as the Defendant in lawsuit number: EHC/210/2021, was instructed to refrain from making any further injurious publications against the Claimants and affiliates of the NBM of Africa.

The lawsuit was filed by the Registered Trustees of NBM of Africa, Ese Kakor, Felix Kupa, and Mayor Onyebueke.

Following Linda Ikeji’s failure to comply with the demand letter for retraction and apology regarding the defamatory article published on her blog on Oct. 19, 2021, she was taken to court by the NBM of Africa and three others.

In the publication dated Oct. 19, 2021, the blogger allegedly labeled NBM of Africa as a feared cult faction, black axe, criminal syndicate, and other derogatory terms.

Hence, the Claimants sought compensation of N1 billion and a sincere apology to be published on her blog and two national newspapers, among other requests.

Justice Daibo-Harriman, in her ruling, clearly denounced the phrases “feared cultist group,” “black axe,” “criminal organization,” and others used by the defendant in her defamatory publication as defamatory statements.

After the court session, lead counsel to the Claimants, Mr. Kelvin Agbroko, expressed satisfaction with the verdict.

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“This will serve as lesson to bloggers that it is not every item you published. It is good to verify information before making a publication.

“NBM of Africa is a legal organisation duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).

“The publication made by the defendant against my client has been cleared that is was a damaging publication.

“NBM is good to go, we are going to take all necessary steps to enforce the terms of the judgement against her.

“It was an erudite judgement that is all encompassing and will be difficult to fault,” Agbroko said.

Also responding to the judgement the President of NBM of Africa, Mr Ese Kakor said that the case had been on for about two years.

He said that the judgement was a warning to bloggers and other members of the public not to call people or organisations names that were not ascribed to them in a bid to blackmail or defamed their characters.

“What Linda Ikeji did was just to sell in a bid to defame the character of NBM of Africa, it is very wrong.

“I advised other blogger not to follow same steps as they may also face similar litigation.

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