A Makurdi High Court Judge, Justice Adam Onum yesterday fixed 6th of November 2017 for judgement in the N10 billion libel suit instituted by Governor Samuel Ortom against the Publisher of the Nigerian Concord,Mr Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi.
When the case came up for hearing, counsel to Governor Samuel Ortom, Mr Andrew Wombo called two witnesses, Mr Berger Alfred Emberga, and David Mzer, who tendered 3 various exhibits to support his case.
He told the court that the Plaintiff, Samuel Ortom has complied with the order of the court that the defendant, Mr Abiodun be served by substituted means in two National dailies, which he did.
Mr Wombo also tendered the defendants reaction to the suit which was published on his Facebook page, as one of the exhibit.
Testifying before the court,The first witness, Mr Berger Alfred, who is also the immediate past Acting Publicity Secretary of Benue State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress Congress, APC, told the court that Mr Aare Abiodun has made defamatory statements against the Governor on Facebook, and posted them on his Facebook timeline and blog on the 22nd of November 2016 and15th of September 2016,and several other dates, which he was also tagged him in all of them.
The second witness, Mr Mzer also corroborated what Berger Alfred Emberga had earlier said.
He also informed the court that after Writ of summons was served on Mr Aare Abiodun in the two national dailies and was also published on Facebook, Mr Abiodun read the Writ of Summons, and also responded to it.
Printout of the post, and Mr Abiodun’s comments to the post on Facebook on the 24th of June, 2017 was tendered as evidence that Mr Abiodun read the Writ of summons on him even on Facebook.
With the exhibits tendered, and the testimony of the two witnesses,there was no doubt that Mr Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi read the Writ of summon, but deliberately refused to appear in court to prove his allegations against Governor Ortom.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Adam Onum adjourned the case to the 6th of November, 2017 for judgement.
It could be recalled that Governor Samuel Ortom has sued Mr Aare Abiodun for defamation of character and reputation, and is seeking for a N10 billion compensation as damages, an order directing Mr Abiodun to pull down all his defamatory publications and tender a public apology, among others.