By Owei Clarkson
An Abuja High Court on Tuesday, 1st August, 2023 issued a court summons on the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Abuja Inquirer, an Abuja based newspaper Mr Dan Akpovwa.
In the court summon which was made available to newsmen, the Publisher was told to appear before it to show cause why he should not be committed to prison for the default in the payment of a N10 million naira judgment debt awarded against the newspaper in 2017.
The newspaper had made a libelous publication in 2015 against former Special Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman Presidential Amnesty Program, Hon Kingsley Kuku.
The summons which was issued in a judgement debt summons application initiated before the court in Suit No FCT/HC/JS/1/2023 by Counsel to Hon Kingsley Kuku, Barr Solomon Tunyan was dated 1st August 2023 and signed by the presiding judge, Hon Justice I. O. Adelaja sitting at High court No 42 Kubwa, Abuja FCT stated thus;
“and Whereas the Plaintiff has filed an affidavit in this court a Copy whereof is hereunto annexed wherein it is alleged that you the above named Mr Dan AKPOVWA is liable as the person carrying on business as The Abuja Inquirer and as it’s Publisher to pay the sum payable
under the said judgement.”
The affidavit filed in the court upon which the Summons was issued had alleged that the FCT High court in its judgment in suit No FCT/HC/CV/2634/2015 delivered by Late Hon. Justice Jude Okeke on the 1st November 2017 had slammed the N10M naira damages against the newspaper for maliciously disparaging the person of Hon Kingsley Kuku in its libelous publication and instead of obeying the judgment and publishing a retraction and apology the newspaper opted to appeal the judgment to the Court of Appeal in appeal No CA/A/834/2017 pleading justification and fair comment which Appeal was dismissed on the 14th of June 2022 for lacking in merit by the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
However and till date they have flagrantly and willfully disobeyed the judgment of the court by refusing to pay the judgment debt, publish a retraction and apology thereby daring the judgment creditor and the court to do their worst.
The judgment creditors had deposed in the affidavit before the court that Mr Dan Akpovwa being the person carrying on business as The Abuja Inquirer as it’s Publisher is liable to pay the judgment debt.
The court has fixed Thursday August 3rd 2023 for the case.