Gov. Wike VS THISDAY: Court Adjourns To November 16 For Adoption Of Final Written Address
A Port-Harcourt High Court presided by Honourable Justice Adolphus Enebeli has again adjourned for adoption of final written address in the suit levelled against THISDAY Newspaper by Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
Honourable Justice Enebeli adjourned to November 16 for adoption of final written address after granting a motion by the lead defence counsel, Tuduru Ede (SAN), for an extension of time within which to file their final written address.
Claimant’s (Governor Wike’s) counsel will be served final written address by defence counsel within seven days and within 21 days the claimant’s counsel will file their final written address to reply to issues raised by the defence. The defence counsel will file a reply on being served on points of law to claimant’s counsel’s final written address to set the stage for both parties to adopt their final written addresses.
Speaking in an interview on Thursday, September 15, counsel to Governor Wike, Barrister Mark .S. Agwu, said: “Today (September 15) was adjourned for adoption but the defendants were unable to file their final written address so they brought a motion for extension of time to do that. And when they have filed, the claimant also has time within which to file his own and then the defendant will also have a time of reply on point of law if any”.
Barrister Agwu said that the defence counsel promised to file and serve their final written address within seven days.
On his part, the defence counsel, Ede (SAN) said: “We were to adopt today but unfortunately the parties have not filed all their written addresses owing to certain exigencies so we asked for a further date to enable us file the final written address on behalf of the defendants and the court granted it expressly so that the claimant did not oppose the motion for extension of time to file our final written address. After service, they will now serve their own and then we’ll file our reply”.
The adoption of final written address is the last stage to the court fixing a date for judgement.
Governor Wike filed a libel suit against THISDAY Newspaper for allegedly defaming his reputation.
The paper carried a report with the headline: “With a Friend Like Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo; Almost” published on June 23, 2020.
Governor Wike is demanding seven billion naira compensation.
The report allegedly portrayed the Governor as “deceitful, untrustworthy person who exerts subterranean influences on judicial matters and over court sittings in Port-Harcourt”, according to the governor’s Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Kelvin Ebiri.