FOLLOWING an alleged malicious publication that she runs an international human trafficking ring, Lauretta Onochie, a member of the Buhari Media Support Group, has dragged Emeka Ugwuoye, a blogger and US-based commentator, to court over a libellous publication on Facebook.
Onochie is asking for N1 billion saying she has suffered tremendous damage to her reputation, and that if Ugwuoye is not restrained, he would further publish injurious articles against her.
Besides, Ugwuonye has been facing criminal charges from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged theft.
Onochie in the suit filed by Festus Keyamo, her counsel, at the high court of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and obtained by journalists on Sunday, February 7, in Abuja, is also demanding a retraction and an unreserved apology from the defendant for the words he had used with her photograph.
According to the court papers, no fewer than 163 persons have ‘Liked’ the post, while more than 80 people have ‘Shared’ it with 198 ‘Comments.”
Ugwuoye had in the post entitled: “A major break in tracking of the Dubai Madams and their agents – A key Madam revealed as a socialite with apparent connections to (sic) Nigerian politicians,” published on January 21, 2016, in his Due Process Advocates Facebook page, alleged that Onochie, using names like Aunty Lolly, Madam or Aunty, operates an international girls trafficking ring across United Arab Emirates, UAE, Italy and Greece for prostitution.
He also alleged that Onochie was fond of recruiting young girls and making sure that immigration officials were bribed at the airport to let the girls through despite being underage.
The plaintiff, therefore, is thus, asking the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, whether by himself, agents, privies or servants from further publishing or causing to be published any libellous, injurious or defamatory words against her.
In her statement of claims, the plaintiff who is a grandmother and member of the All Progressives Congress, avers that the defendant falsely and maliciously described her as “an international human trafficker who belongs to a powerful network of criminal gangs and racketeers.”
While describing the allegations as false and untrue, she said that the defendant did not conduct any investigation before publishing them.
— Feb 8, 2016 @ 15:00 GMT