Ex-Imo State Governor Chief Ikedi Ohakim has slammed a N5bn libel suit against his ex-mistress, Lady Chinyere Lilian Amuchienwa, née Igwegbe. The suit is premised on an alleged interview granted by Amuchinwa, which Ohakim claims ‘is defamatory and falsehood’ against his person and has already issued a summons for Amuchinwa’s appearance before it on February 18, 2021.
The suit, signed by Ohakim’s counsel, Barr Aloy Ejimakor, which was obtained by our correspondent in Owerri, indicates that the former Imo governor is urging the court to declare that allegations contained in the interview as published in the medium, in addition to a viral audio which she allegedly circulated, ‘are slanderous, libelous and defamatory’.
Ohakim, in the suit, further prays an order of the court compelling the accused to retract the allegations by granting another interview to the same medium, and to also retract the audio by countering her earlier claims, and circulate same through the social media, including particularly the WhatsApp.
The suit also demanded the court to compel the accused to:
“[W]rite and deliver to the plaintiff an unreserved letter of apology. The letter of apology shall be prominently and boldly published full-page in two Nigerian newspapers of national circulation, namely: the Vanguard and the Sun; and two newspapers of local circulation in Imo State, namely: The Announcer Express and Trumpeter.”
Our correspondent reports that Ohakim, in the suit marked HOW/888/2020 filed before the Imo State High Court, also prays the court to “Order perpetual injunction restraining the accused from further and forever uttering the said slanderous and libelous words about or concerning the plaintiff. He has also secured an order of court issued by Justice I. M. Njaka of the state high court for a substituted service to be effected on the defendant.”
Chief Ohakim, in an affidavit, also swore that he is among the founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State until November 2006 when he joined the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) where he was elected governor in 2007.
He claimed he met Ms Igwegbe at Arondizuogu, Imo State, in November 2018, and they subsequently established close ties based on trust and integrity. He also revealed how a money deal he has against Ms Amuchinwa got to a point where she became hostile and resorted to various acts of slander, libel, defamation, intimidation, threats and even assault, prompting him to petition the inspector-general of police (IGP) on January 20, 2020, which its investigations are still ongoing.
According to Ohakim lawyer in the suit, “Instead of relying on the instrumentality of the IGP’s investigations to tell her side of the story, the accused granted a libelous interview, which interview was published on 18th August, 2020, containing allegations that Ohakim visited her shop in Lagos and carted away designer’s suitcase, bags, shoes, and other luxury goods, which he has allegedly refused to pay for. And she later made an audio accusing him of photoshopping and circulating her indecent video where she is seen fondling her private parts and crying out ‘I can’t sleep’.”
Ohakim claims Amuchinwa’s statements in the publication and utterances in the viral audio are ‘false, malicious and reckless’, and portrays him in bad light to the public.