Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has sued an online journalist and radio presenter, Mr Akanda Oro, popularly known as Awikonko, for N1bn.
Obasanjo described as untrue claims by the reporter that he had a hand in the assassination of the late Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige (SAN), and the slain National Vice-Chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, Marshall Harry.
The journalist was quoted as saying on the live radio that Obasanjo killed Ige and that President Muhammadu Buhari had even claimed at the burial of the late Harry that the Obasanjo-led government sponsored the killing of the ANPP chieftain.
Awikonko was quoted as saying, “Obasanjo’s murder of Bola Ige, if not for the shortage of time, I would have listed the names of those murdered by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo during his regime.
“Bloodshed during Obasanjo Aremu’s regime was too much (foolish old man).
“There are repercussions for every evil deed done… In case you hear of my death, do not be sad. Perhaps this is the only mission I have been sent by God to accomplish.
“The fellow that killed a whole minister of justice and attorney general of the federation went scot-free.
“So, what will it cost him to kill me, a commoner? Let him go and commit suicide or take himself before Ogun shrine to swear that he does not know anything about the murder of Bola Ige and Marshall Harry or that all his children die in his lifetime.”
In the suit filed by his lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN), Obasanjo said the claims by the journalist, which were also posted on social media, were malicious and false.
In the suit filed before Justice O.A. Adenyi of Apo Federal Capital Territory High Court with number FCT/HC/CV/2920/18, the former President asked that Awikonko retract the publication.
It read in part, “A declaration that the publication complained of is false, malicious, unjustified, injurious, scornful, distasteful, unsavoury and have exposed the claimant to public odium, ridicule and disdain both nationally and internationally.
“A declaration that the words complained of does not constitute a valid exercise by the defendant of his freedom of speech.
“The sum of one billion naira only against the defendant as general damages for the defamation of the claimant’s hard earned reputation.