Published On: Sat, Jul 29th, 2023

Alleged Libel: Warri Pastor Sues Proprietor Of Pararan Mock News To Court, Demands N5n As Damages


LAGOS JULY 20TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Popular Warri-based Pastor, Apostle Michael Akpor, has dragged the Proprietor of Pararan Mock News, Mr. Diamond Dietanuru Osakorigho,* popularly known as Pararan, to court over alleged defamation of character.

Recall that shortly after the police concluded their investigation into the kill killing two Keke passengers sometime in 2022 which was reported by the said Pararan TV in a derogatory manner to scandalize the pastor, the Warri-based Pastor briefed his Solicitors to write a letter to Pararan demanding for a retraction of the offensive statement in the online news medium and apology to the Pastor.

Despite the said Solicitor’s letter, Pararan allegedly failed, refused and/or neglected to retract the said defamatory publication and meet the demands of the Pastor till date, hence the Pastor has approached the Court to seek redress.

Solicitor to the Pastor, Austin Nyekigbe, in a statement, confirmed that a writ of summons over the alleged defamation has been filed at the Delta State High Court of Justice, Effurun Judicial Division, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state.

In his statement of claim in the suit marked EHC/91/2023, the Claimant, Apostle Michael Akpor amongst other things averred that the said publication by Pararan is untrue and totally unfounded.

The statement of claim reads in part thus:

“The Claimant avers that according to reports from those who claimed to be Witnesses, on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 between the hours of 6:00pm and 7:00pm, a commercial tricycle conveying three (3) passengers at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun, Delta State hit and scratched a black Prado Jeep and a man in Police uniform came down from the black Prado Jeep and shot severally at the tricycle killing the two (2) passengers at the back seat, the rider of the tricycle sustained a bullet wound on his left shoulder while the lady at the front seat survived unhurt.

“The reports of the alleged witnesses had it that the registration number of the said black Prado Jeep was covered. That the very important person, V.I.P in the Jeep sat at the back seat of the black Prado Jeep and wore white native attire. It was alleged that the black Prado Jeep and the Police escort were suspected to be that of the Claimant.

“As a result of the said allegation, the Claimant and the two Policemen attach to him were invited and investigated by Officers of the Nigeria Police Force and at the end of the investigation, the police found amongst others, that the Claimant was in his Church doing his religious business at the time of the incident and that the Policeman who was accused was at Osun State for election duties at the time of the incident. The Claimant and the two Policemen attached to him were accordingly vindicated and exonerated. The Claimant pleads and shall at the trial of this suit rely heavily on a certified true copy of the Police Investigation Report dated 4th August, 2022.

“The Claimant avers that while the Police were yet to conclude their investigation, the Defendant on the 20th day of July, 2022, posted and published on his Facebook page known as Pararan Mock News, a defamatory publication or video clip captioned “Warri Pastor KPUF 2 Keke Passenger” against the person of the Claimant. The Defendant is the maker of the said publication or video clip. The Defendant’s post or publication bears the Claimant’s photograph and the Defendant in the said publication said that the Claimant with his Police escort were the persons that murdered the two (2) commercial tricycle passengers who were reportedly murdered by a man in Police uniform on Tuesday 12th July, 2022 at Ugbolokposo Community in Effurun.

“The Claimant pleads and shall at the trial of this suit rely on the Defendant’s said video clip and a computer print-out of the online publication posted and published by the Defendant on the 20th day of July, 2022…

“The Claimant states that the word “KPUF” used by the Defendant means kill or murder in Warri local parlance. The Claimant shall at the trial of this suit rely on the full text and context of the said publication which has been accessed, read, watched and listened to by unlimited number of persons nationwide and internationally and show to the court at the trial, the extent of damage he has suffered.

“The Claimant avers that within the first one (1) hour of the said publication by the Defendant, over twenty thousand persons viewed, opened, accessed, read, watched and listened to the publication, three hundred and one persons shared the publication, five hundred and nineteen persons made various derogatory comments about the person of the Claimant, while over one thousand, nine hundred persons reacted in various manner to the publication.

“The said publication is libelous, malicious, untrue and very damaging and derogatory to the Claimant’s reputation both in private and public life”, the statement read.

The Claimant states that his personal reputation has been seriously damaged and he has suffered considerable distress and embarrassment before his Church members, family members, friends, in-laws, business partners and members of the public at large…

Among other reliefs, the claimant therefore seeks an order of the “Honourable Court awarding the sum of N5,000,000,000.00 (Five Billion Naira) only as special and general damages against the Defendant for the irreparable harm the said injurious publication has inflicted on the Claimant’s image as well as that of his family”, the statement added

Daily Independent


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