In a N1.5 billion defamation lawsuit brought by former governor Theodore Orji against Prince Benjamin Apugo, a prominent member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Abia State High Court in Umuahia has postponed the case until February 16.
Chief Henry Balogu, the plaintiff’s attorney, represented him at the hearing; the defendant, on the other hand, was not present, nor did any attorney show up on his behalf.
The defendant must appear in court on the following adjourned date, according to an order issued by trial judge Justice A. O. Chijioke, who noted a delay in the proceedings that had been filed since 2020.
He declared that the trial would start the following postponed date, whether the defendant was present or not.
The trial judge gave the court clerk instructions to give the defendant’s appearance notice again so he can show up on the following postponed date.
The suit was filed because the defendant made “false and malicious remarks” that were detrimental to the personality of the plaintiff, according to an interview later given to Vanguard by the plaintiff’s attorney, Balogu.
“We are here in court due to a defamatory article that contained a substantial falsehood that hurt his person and reputation and was meant to disparage his standing as a senator, political figurehead, and former governor.
“The defence attorney claims that the defendant charged his client with embezzlement from the Abia treasury while serving as governor and chief of staff, respectively, during a live radio broadcast.