Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole on Monday dragged News of the People, a soft sell weekly magazine before a Benin High Court, asking for N250m as damages, for alleged libel.
Oshiomhole, in suit No B/556/2011, against Dockland Communications Limited, publishers of News of the People magazine, alleged that the content of a material published by the magazine in 2011, on the front page and page 19, with the headline, ‘Oshiomhole’s sex power exposed: Impregnates young girl six months after death of wife’, libeled his person.
He further alleged that the defendant, among other things falsely wrote that he bought the said girl a jeep, that he was interfering in the academic activities of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, on behalf of the girl, that he used sexual performance enhancement drugs and that he had performed traditional marriage rites precedent to marriage between him and the said girl.
Oshiomhole, whose suit is before Justice (Mrs.) Efe Ikponmwonba, alleged that the said edition containing the libellous piece was widely circulated, to coincide with preparations for one of his daughter’s wedding.
Asked by his lead counsel K.O. Igiebor why he was demanding damages, the governor, who testified as Principal Witness 1, said the publication caused him and his children psychological trauma, six months after the death of his wife.
He said, “When I called a brother governor to sponsor my daughter’s wedding, the governor said he was confused, and asked me if I was the one doing the marriage or my daughter.
“He added that he was reading a magazine which said that I was about getting married to a university student, and that the said wife-to-be was already pregnant.”