Character Defamation: Ex-militant Leader Drags NDDC Director, Aide to Court

*Demands 2bn Naira Damages

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Character Defamation: Ex-militant Leader Drags NDDC Director, Aide to Court

An Ex-militant Leader, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has dragged the Executive Director, Project, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Engr. Sam Adjogbe and his Aide, Jaro Egbo to court over an alleged defamatory publication against him. 

Addressing a news conference over the weekend in Abuja, Akpodoro vowed to fight the defamation of his character to a victorious end, adding that, it was a blackmail taken too far by a supposed respectable member of the board of the NDDC who he said has no sense of remorse after committing such magnitude of offense. 

In suit No. CV/0042/17 filed against the duo before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on behalf of Akpodoro by Rosemary Emovon & Co prayed the court to grant him 2bn Naira in special damages.

He alleged that the publication made by Egbo and Adjogbe on a whatsaap group chat - APC/APM 4 Senator O. Omo-Agege where he was referred to as an armed robber who was wanted by security agencies was aimed at tarnishing his reputation, that of his entire family, business and ultimately it was aimed at inciting the general public against him. 

The defamatory publication with Akpodoro's picture by contact no: 09090000385 reads: "Wanted Person: This is to inform the general public that the security agencies has declared Israel Eshanekpe, a.k.a. General Akpodoro wanted for sundry crimes of blackmail, extortion and stealing. He is about 5 feet tall and dark in completion (sic) and walks with a limb from gun short injury he suffers from robbery operation some years back. Handsome reward awaits anyone with useful information. Signed: Security Agencies."

In a spontaneous reaction to the defamatory content on the whatsaap group chat, Akpodoro said "he reported the matter to Olorogun O'tega Emerhor, who he noted is the godfather and brother in-law to Adjogbe, adding that, he showed lackadaisical attitude initially, only for him to half-heartedly call for a peace meeting between him and Adjogbe weeks after his lawyer had written to Adjogbe and Egbo requesting that the offensive publication be retracted and apology publicly rendered, a request he said the “defiant and stubborn Adjogbe” didn't honour. 

He Further stated that the peace parley anchored by Emerhor was attended by leaders of Delta State APC chapter in Abuja, but predictably, Adjogbe and Egbo were conspicuously absent and  further efforts to make peace was deliberately compromised by the PDP Stalwarts, Adjogbe.  

Akpodoro is seeking  among others: declarations of the honourable court that the said publication made on July 21, 2017, published on a whatsaap platform described as APC/APM 4 Sen. O. Omo-Agege against the plaintiff by the defendant is defamatory and damaging to the character of the plaintiff, that same publication is injurious to the political career of the plaintiff and therefore deprives him of any impending appointment to public office in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria, the defendant retracts the said defamatory publication as false and malicious in two national dailies. 

Other prayers include: an order that the defendants pay the plaintiff 1bn naira only as general damages and 2bn Naira as special damages for the loss of the water hyacinth project which the MD of NDDC promise the large crowd of youths and Ex-militants empowerment, a group organized, coordinated and led by the plaintiff. 

Akpodoro stated that he had written a petition against the Project Director, Adjogbe to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, narrating the poor attitude of Adjogbe and requesting that he be called to order to save the region from impending doom.

He cited corruption, high handedness, contract splitting and shoddy deals among other allegations of fraud against the mechanical engineer. 

Akpodoro had in that letter warned that Adjogbe who is a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Delta State was involved in inciting youth of the region against the federal government so that NDDC can dole out emergency funds during crises period, an avenue he alleged was used to syphon the treasury of the interventionist agency at the detriment of regional development.

Additionally, Akpodoro who is the National President of National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A alleged that Engr. Adjogbe is a staunch PDP member in Ughelli North Senatorial District where he contested the primaries to fly the flag of the party for the seat of Ughelli Constituency II in the Delta State House of Assembly but failed in 2014, as a loyal member of his party he has refused to formally declare for the APC ditto his aide, Egbo who he said contested the primaries of the PDP in the same local government for Ughelli Constituency l. 

The visibly angry ex-militant leader noted that his problem with Adjogbe and his Aide was not unconnected with a failed plan to use him (Akpodoro) to plunge the region into crises from them to share the emergency fund that would be released. “When I was called upon by the Managing Director, NDDC, Mr. Nsima Ekereto organize and assemble all ex-militant leaders and youths in the region for a meeting in Port Harcourt, I carried out the mandate to the latter. Knowing that it was going to be a huge success, Adjogbe invited me to his office where he told me to ensure the meeting ended up in stalemate capable of igniting trouble in the region. This according to him, would make the board to release emergency fund in millions and that I would be rewarded with large percentage of whatever was released as emergency fund. He told me to ensure I invite all PDP youths to the meeting but I realized his temptation and reminded him that I am a pioneer youth leader of the APC and an addict of President Muhammadu Buhari, for the sake of my integrity and the confidence reposed in me by the MD, I was going to organize a successful meeting of the youth with the board of the NDDC. Painfully to Adjogbe, the meeting held on the ground floor of the NDDC office on March 23, 2017 was not only peaceful, it was adjudged excellent by the MD. This was the beginning of my problem with Adjogbe and his horde of miscreants. We worked to bring APC and President Buhari on board, but unfortunately, undesirable elements in PDP hijacked the reward of our hard work, what an irony. As a follow up to my letter to SGF, I have instructed my lawyers to do a reminder to that office for immediate action." Akpodoro stated. 




Segun Bolaji
Osun State Correspondent of Fresh Angle International Newspaper
Read other stories by Segun Bolaji
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