The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in charge of Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini ,has sued the factional Chairman of the ALL Progressives Congress APC, in Edo State, David Imuse and John Mayaki,, Chairman of Pastor Ize-iyamu campaign council in the September 19 governoship election in the state before a Benin High Court demanding the sum of N10billion for libel.
The REC in a writ of summons filed on Monday by Edwin Okenedo, on behalf of his counsel, Clement Onwuenwunor, demanded the sum of N5billion as aggravated damages each from Imuse and Mayaki.
Joined in the suit as co-defendants are Vanguard Media Limited, African Newspaper of Nigeria PLC,publisher of Nigerian Tribune and the Sun Publishing Limited.
Apart from the N10BILLION ,Igini is also demanding for a full page unreserved apology to be published by the APC chieftains in every edition of the Punch Newspapers, Tribune, Guardian and Sun Newspapers for seven consecutive times,commencing not later than seven days after the judgement of the case.
Igini also prayed the court to restrain the defendants, their agentts,privies and servants from further publishing of the same or similar words defamatory against him.
The REC recalled that on August 30,2020, during the just concluded governoship election campaigns, the APC factional Chairman and Chairman Edo APC Media Campaign Council, addressed journalists at a press conference titled” Press conference on Governor Godwin Obaseki’s criminal attempt to infiltrate INEC officers like Mr Mike Igini” in Auchi, in Etsako West Local Government Area.
According to himi, the press conference which was published in the three national newspapers with different headlines such as”APC accuses Akwa Ibom REC,Igini of meeting Obaseki secretly, and INEC NEC, Igini, plotting with Obaseki to rig election was malicious, reckless, mischievous and with intent to destroy his hard-earned reputation.
He said the publications have dented his image as people who once held him in high esteem have lost confidence in him and now avoid him.
Igini said the suit became neccessary following the failure of the factional Chairman of the APC to comply with the protest letter dated August 31,2020, demanding for the retraction of the said publications adding the action against them was done in concert with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to clear his name.