The case involving the publisher of Watchdog Newspaper, Comrade Precious Nwadike, and the Newspaper versus Uche Nwosu, with suit number AC/OW/285/2018 has been scheduled for hearing today, at the Federal Court of Appeal, Owerri.
The case borders on alleged defamation of character arising from the Watchdog Newspaper publication of November 10, 2015 where it was reported that a cook attached to Uche Nwosu took advantage of the Action Alliance candidate’s trip overseas with his family, to break into a safe carefully kept inside Uche Nwosu’s bedroom and disappeared with a huge chunk of the money in hard currency. The report had it that over #5billion was alleged to be taken away by the cook, simply identified as Henry.
It was gathered that the plaintiff (Uche Nwosu) had gotten a default judgment for which the court presided over by justice Chikeka refused to set aside the said judgment even after the penalty had been deemed paid and defense of the respondents properly filed hence, the defendants proceeded to the Appeal Court in Owerri, where they among other prayers, want the Appeal Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.
The defendants had through their lead counsel, Prof F.C Dike (SAN), indicated interest to pursue the matter to it’s logical conclusion and would want the case to be tried based on it’s merit.
Prof Dike argued that his clients who are Comrade Precious Nwadike and Watchdog Newspapers did not defame Uche Nwosu, who as at the time of the publication was the Chief of Staff to his father-inlaw, Governor.
Prof Dike also said that his clients only reported a case of theft at Uche Nwosu’s house for public interest by alleging that his cook made away with some suspected public money. According the renowned lawyer, “one would have ordinarily expected the cook to join in the suite since he was the one directly accused”.
Professor Dike in one of his submissions also posited that for a case of defamation to be established, the plaintiff and defendants must be in court for the court to deliver judgment but in this case, both the plaintiff and defendants were absent, yet judgment was entered against the defendants.
He stated that these are some of the grounds of appeal and now very optimistic that the court being the last hope of the common man, will do justice to the case.
Ever since the case was instituted four years ago, a number of developments including admittance by the Ex-Governor, to prove that the Imo bailout fund was outrightly stolen in line with Watchdog publication. For instance, EFCC recently tracked the sum of N7.9 billion allegedly diverted from the bailout fund and kept in a domiciled account, in some banks.
Aside the case at appeal court,Mr Uche Nwosu also instituted another case of criminal defamation which is also coming up on the June 10,2019 at magistrate court 7,Owerri.
It was gathered that the multiple cases against the Newspaper and publisher were to ensure that the media house was frustrated out of business.