Justice Prevails as Court Dismisses N5Bn Libel Suit against THISDAY Newspaper

*THISDAY newspaper's logo
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By Joy Kaka

An FCT High Court, in Kubwa on Monday, dismissed a N5 billion libel suit filed by a Chartered Accountant, Nixon Alanza, against Thisday Newspaper Limited and Diamond Bank PLC.

Delivering judgment, Justice Bello Kawu , held that the plaintiff did not provide enough evidence for libel and dismissed the suit.

The plaintiff, through his lawyer, Blessing Timothy alleged that Thisday Newspaper made a publication titled ”Diamond bank-list of major delinquent debtors” in 2015 without justification or verification.

Timothy said the plaintiff’s name was stated with other persons as owing a term loan and lease finance facility of N181,728,381.55.

She held that the publication was totally false  and defamatory saying that the plaintiff is neither a Director of Global Scansystems Limited as listed by the defendant nor has he ever guaranteed any loan owed to Diamond Bank.

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The plaintiff however sought N5 billion for aggravated and general damages for libel and statutory interest of 10% per annum from the date of judgement until judgement debt is fully liquidated.

In its defence, Thisday Newspapers through its counsel, Frank Chude said the Central Bank of Nigeria gave a directive for the bank to publish a list of delinquent debtors.

”Thisday is bound to publish because it was a directive from a credible source, C.B.N and the newspaper is covered by qualified privilege which states that it owes a duty to publish so long as there is no malice.

”The public are interested in knowing what is going on, a qualified privilege avails publication without malice,” Chude said.


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