Defamation: Obi Cubana sues publisher for N1b

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He denies being a drug lord

Chief Obinna Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, has sued the editors of the Lagos-based newspaper “PM Express”, for N1b, for allegedly defamatory publication against him.

The April 27 lawsuit was filed on the same date in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court by his attorney, Mr. Afam Osigwe (SAN).

In the lawsuit, the celebrity also seeks a perpetual injunction, restricting the defendants, whether by themselves, agents, third parties, media outlets, etc., from publishing, advertising, promoting, distributing, circulating and serializing the news article, which is the subject of demand on the Internet, social networks, Facebook and other social platforms, containing allegations and insinuations that he is involved in drug trafficking.

Chief Iyiegbu in the lawsuit marked: CV/1367/2022 claimed that he had suffered serious losses since the defendants, in their April 26 post, portrayed him as a drug lord, whose bank accounts have been frozen by order of a Federal High Court. Court in Lagos.

Other defendants in the lawsuit include David Odey, Arinze Alinnor, Funsho Arogundade, Cyriacus Izulekwe, and Taiwo Adelu, who do business under the name and style of DAFCT Communications.

In his statement of demands, Chief Iyiegbu accused the defendants of “maliciously” using his photograph to publish a story in which the entire story, as well as the reported court order, have absolutely nothing to do with him.”

According to the plaintiff, on April 26, 2022, the defendants published on their website: www.pmexpressng.com a story with the title “Court orders banks to freeze accounts of alleged drug lords” with his photo used as one of the two alleged drug barons, Basil Okafor Onochie and Okwuchukwu Edwin Izuxhukwu, whose accounts would have been ordered by Judge Tijjani Ringim in the lawsuit filed by the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The applicant stated that he is a well-known figure, whose name and image (photo) cannot be confused with either Basil Okafor Onochie or Okwuchukwu Edwin Izuchukwu, the suspected drug lords whose accounts the court ordered frozen.

Chief Iyiebu stated that inherent in the defendants’ action are accusations and insinuations that he is a drug lord, whose accounts have been frozen by the court, and that he is involved in or has committed a criminal act.

While stating that the defendants, by their important publications, cast a serious slander on his honor, reputation and integrity, Chief Iyiegbu stated that, following the publication, many people, companies, friends, associates, acquaintances and members of the community had avoided him and his company.

The publication, he added, exposed him to hatred, contempt, ridicule and insults in his position, profession, undertakings and businesses.

The defendants, he added, “have shown with their publications that they are involved in an intentional smear campaign through defamatory publications.”

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