Natasha Sues Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello, Others Over Terrorism Allegation, Seeks N10 Billion in Damages

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The senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Kogi State Central Senatorial district for the 2023 elections, Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan has again sued the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, for defamation and linking her to terrorism activities in the state.

Also charged with the governor in the suit numbered FCT/HC/CV/6529/2023 are the Kogi State Government, the state information and communications commissioner, Kingsley Fanwo, and Vanguard Media Limited.

The state government had called on heads of security agencies in Nigeria to invite Akpoti-Uduaghan for questioning over alleged terrorism capable of dragging the state back to “the dark era.”

It said despite Governor Bello’s interventions to rid the state of terrorism, it was concerned that some politicians were grooming terrorists in the state as well as importing them from neighboring states.

Akpoti-Uduaghan is demanding the sum of N10 billion in damages and an order restraining Bello from using defamatory words against her.

Other prayers sought by Akpoti-Uduaghan are: “A declaration that the publication by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants through the Vanguard newspaper online media on October 31, 2022, titled “Terrorism: Kogi Govt asks security agencies to invite Uduaghan for questioning” is libelous and defamatory against the Claimant.

“An order of this Honourable Court against the Defendants jointly and severally to pay the sum of N10,000,000,000.00 (Ten Billion Naira) as damages for the libelous publication by the Defendants against the Claimant in the Vanguard newspaper online publication on October 31, 2022, titled “Terrorism: Kogi Govt asks security agencies to invite Uduaghan for questioning” as same is libelous and defamatory against the Claimant. 

“An order of this Honourable Court directing the Defendants jointly and severally retract,  remove from the internet and publish a public apology to the Claimant in the Vanguard newspaper both in print and online retracting the libelous publication published in the Vanguard newspaper online on October 31, 2022, titled, “Terrorism: Kogi Govt asks security agencies to invite Uduaghan for questioning” as same is libelous and defamatory against the Claimant.

“An injunction restraining the Defendants jointly and severally by themselves, agents or servants or otherwise from publishing or causing to be published the said similar words defamatory against the Claimant.”

Akpoti-Uduaghan in November 2022 dragged Bello and the state commissioner before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyanya Judicial Division, over charges of terrorism allegation.

The case was, however, struck out in a ruling delivered on Friday, June 16, 2023, by Justice Idris Mua’wiya, for being incompetent. 


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