A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Festus Keyamo, has withdrawn his appearance for the publisher of Sahara reporters, Omoyele Sowore, in a N1 billion libel suit filed by the General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministries International, Apostle Johnson Suleman, at a Lagos High Court in Ikeja.
The cleric had sued Sowore for libel, seeking payment of damages to the tune of one billion naira. In his statement on oath, Sulaiman accused the online publisher turned politician of publishing libelous materials against him in March 2017. The alleged defamatory publication was said to have been given wide circulation, in order to injure the reputation of the renowned cleric.
The matter which is pending before Justice Lawal Akapo has witnessed several twists and turns. Only recently Keyamo filed a motion of preliminary objection asking the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
He claimed that Apostle Suleman sued Sowore instead of Sahara reporters. However, the claimant’s lawyer, Osa Director, argued that his client, Apostle Suleman, is at liberty to sue either Sowore or Sahara reporters, or both parties jointly.
He, therefore, prayed the judge to dismiss the application which he described as frivolous, lacking in merit, and a calculated attempt to waste the precious time of the court, with substantial cost. In his ruling, Justice Akapo dismissed the preliminary objection and awarded a cost of N25, 000 against the defendant.
After the ruling, Keyamo tendered a letter before the court seeking to withdraw his legal service to Sowore forthwith in the matter.The reason behind Keyamo’s action is however unclear. Further hearing in the matter has been adjourned to June 2022