A Port-Harcourt High Court presided by Honourable Justice Adolphus Enebeli has adjourned to November 28 to take motion by defence counsel, Tuduru Ede (SAN) for an extension of time to file final written address in suit filed against THISDAY Newspaper by Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The motion was not taken at the last hearing on November 16 because one of the counsel to Governor Wike, Barrister Mark .S. Agwu, who was to be in court was not in court as a result of health challenge.
Speaking in an interview on the phone on Monday, November 21, Barrister Agwu said that the motion will be taken on November 28 saying “by then I believe we will also have filed our written address”.
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 over a report published by the paper on June 23, 2020 with the headline: “With A Friend Like Wike, Obaseki Meets His PDP’s Waterloo; Almost”, and is demanding seven billion naira compensation.
Ede represents THISDAY Newspaper in the suit.
In June, one of the counsel to Governor Wike, Barrister Agwu, faulted the pattern of calling additional witnesses by the defence saying it was slowing down the trial of the case.
He said that the pattern of calling witnesses was piecemeal and was slowing down the process.
Ede who was to re-examine his second defence witness at the hearing on June 3 but did not, said in an interview: “We were comfortable with the evidence and answers given by the witness so there was no need to re-examine,” saying at the time that he had made further application for another witness.
Speaking on the report, Governor Wike’s counsel said in a previous interview that it had “tended to actually reduce his person”, saying the seven billion naira compensation demanded by the governor from the defendants is very little amount of money “which if you compare it to the person he is, it means nothing”.