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Court quashes Akerele’s suit against The Guardian over rice scam report

[FILE PHOTO] High court

Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City yesterday struck out a case filed by the governor’s Chief of staff, Mr. Taiwo Akerele, against The Guardian Newspaper over a report on the diversion of rice meant for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) in the state.

Counsel to the first and second Defendants (The Guardian and its correspondent in the state), Tom Enakhena, prayed the court to dismiss the suit on the grounds that the claimant failed to appear in court to prove his case after series of sitting on the suit.

Presiding judge, Justice Anthony Erhabor, in suit number No B/169/2918, declared that upon the application of the second defendant through his counsel, Enakhena, “the libelous suit has been struck out for want of diligent prosecution.”

Akerele’s counsel had filed a suit against the defendants seeking N250 million for general or aggravated damages because of a story published in March 2018 entitled ‘Probe of Alleged Diversion of Relief Materials Begins in Edo’.

In the report, over 4,781 bags of rice and other relief materials meant for IDPs in Edo were allegedly diverted.

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