Libel: Labour Party Chairman Julius Abure Sues Arise TV, Demands N100million
By Chinedu Echianu in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Barr. Julius Abure has sued Arise Television for libel and has demanded a compensation of One Hundred Million Naira as damages for defamation of his character, reputation and person.
Abure also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Arise Television and its agents from further defamation of his character, reputation and person.
In Suit No: B/35/2023 filed before High Court of Edo State by his counsel President Aigbokhan, Esq on 18th January, 2023, Abure claimed that Arise TV on its morning show granted an interview to the former National Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Arabambi which was posted on a social media platform You tube dated the 11th day of December 2022, wherein he made several defamatory statement against him.
Some of the defamatory words, according to Abure include: “That Barr Julius Abure the National Chairman of the Labor Party (LP) FORGED a court of Appeal Judgment of the 18th day of November, 2022 and enlisted to INEC twenty seven (27) candidates instead of the legally approved fifteen (15) candidates for the Lagos State House of Assembly”
"That Barr Julius Abure submitted a FORGED list of Twenty Seven (27) names to INEC dated 25th November 2022 signed by Barr Julius Abure as National Chairman and Alhaji Umar Farouk Ibrahim as National Secretary and also presented the copies as evidence to ARISE TV, the morning show’
“That Barr Julius Abure the National Chairman of Labour Party diverted over Forty Million Naira (40,000, 000, 00) from sales of party nomination form into his private transport company account with Access Bank Plc as payment thereby grossly violated the provisions of the Labour Party Constitution 2019 as amended by enriching himself fraudulently and thereafter denied the candidates tickets after collecting their monies”
“That a financial audit investigation of all the Labour party’s account be conducted immediately to ascertain the extent of financial malfeasance and impropriety perpetrated through illegal transactions from sales of party nomination forms and expression of interest.”
”That Barr Julius Abure, brought in four (4) thugs with improvised Arms or pistol that are not members of DSS or any of the licensed security operatives to harass him during the NWC meeting that took place at Bacelonia Hotel Wuse 2 Abuja caught on CCTV Camera”
“That Labour Party has been completely southernized without any pan Nigeria outlook in composition”
”That Mr. Peter Obi has never had any meaningful and fruitful meeting with the National Executive Council NEC of the party because of Barr Julius Abure and Clement Ojukwu, the National Organizing Secretary who have monopolized Peter Obi with lies.
"That the presidential campaign committee PCC has excluded members of the National Working Committee, NWC from the South West in the presidential campaign and noting that none of the six (6)national working committee NWC members from southwest was part of the campaign rallies in Ibadan and Ogun States” amongst others.
Abure said that the word referred to above was understood by him to mean he was fraudulent in his activities and in the habit of collecting bribes from party members in other to access political position.
He also said that the words used by the defendant, on the interview with the ARISE TV News Morning Show, a channel watched by several millions of person both locally and internationally has maligned his position as the national chairman of Labour Party and has reduced his level of standing in the society.
He also claimed that the principles of fairness, accuracy, and balance in the coverage of Political campaign activities was not observed in granting the said interview as the Television station made no effort to get his side of the matter.
Similarly, on 8th January 2023 the television station granted another interview to one Miss Agho Blessing and broadcasted the interview from her private office in Benin City to disparage the reputation without giving him the privilege to respond to the allegations.
The chairman claimed that the TV station sell prime time to people to malign him without giving him or his representative an opportunity to air their part of the story. He claims that the dual interview by the defendant was done with malice.
No date has been fixed for the hearing.