Ex-Kogi acting gov drags NHRC to court, demands N50m for defamation

A former acting governor of Kogi State, Chief Clarence Obafemi, has dragged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) before a Kogi State High Court sitting in Lokoja for defamation and disrespect for human right, following the commission’s inclusion of his name among electoral offenders in the country.

Obafemi, who was also a speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, asked the court to award N50 million against the commission for injuring his personality.

The NHRC had, penultimate week, published the name of Obafemi among those who had engaged in electoral malpractices during the 2007 general election.

The former acting governor, expressed displeasure over the development, noting that it was wrong for NHRC to publish his name after winning his case at the Appeal Court.

Speaking in Lokoja, on Sunday, counsel for the former lawmaker, Temidayo Eseyen, said his client instituted the suit because the publication was unlawful, illegal and false.

According to him, Obafemi was, at no time, found guilty of any electoral violence as he asked the court for perpetual injunction against the commission stopping it from publishing such allegation against his client again.

The suit also prayed the court for N50 million as damages, claiming that the publication was defamatory despite the fact that his client was exonerated by an appeal court after the tribunal first indicted him in 2003.

“The appellant court demanded to know if there was any reported case of fracas and there was none, even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) attested to the fact that none of their ballot boxes got missing during the election at the local government.