The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Jabi, Abuja on Friday dismissed a preliminary objection challenging a civil suit filed by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Pius Anyim.
Anyim had alleged in the suit that Cairo Ojougboh, a former Vice Chairman of the South-South zone of the Peoples Democratic Party, had defamed his character.
According to him, Ojougboh did this by describing the Centenary City Project of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, which he handled, as “crime personified”.
Anyim also claimed in the substantive suit that Ojougboh had accused him in several newspapers that he was threatening his life.
The former SGF was claiming N1 billion as compensation and unreserved apology for the embarrassment the publication had caused him.
Anyim was also praying the court to grant an order restraining the defendant from making further negative publication about him.
He raised two issues to challenge the preliminary objection among which was, whether the originating processes used in commencing the instant suit were competent for the purpose of vesting jurisdiction on the court.
He wondered if the court could hear and determine the suit (preliminary objection) as it was presently constituted.
Ojougboh, who filed the preliminary objection through his lawyer, Usman Sule, contended that the substantive suit before the court did not contain the exact defamatory words the plaintiff claimed was used.
He also claimed that the substantive suit before the court was not signed by the registrar of the court.
At the resumed sitting on the matter, Justice Usman Musale, dismissed the preliminary objection filed by Ojougboh on the ground that it lacked merit.
The court also adopted the issues raised by Anyim on the preliminary objection.
The judge adjourned the matter till October 30 for hearing.