Kingsley Kuku Vs The Abuja Inquirer
EFCC To Testify Against Kingsley Kuku
…Abuja Inquirer Opens Defense…
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has been subpoenaed to appear in court to testify for the defense in the Libel case brought by Kingsley Kuku, former Presidential adviser on Amnesty against The Abuja Inquirer newspaper. Mr. Magu is expected to testify against Kuku on March 14 at the Abuja High court in Maitama.
This was disclosed in court by the very brilliant Barrister Bassey Offiong, who led a very strong team of Lawyers for The Abuja Inquirer at the Abuja High Court when hearing resumed in the case of Kingsley Kuku Vs The Abuja Inquirer (Suit No. CV/263/15) presided over by Mr. Jude Okeke of Abuja High Court 12.
Barrister Offiong opened his defense of the newspaper by inviting Dan Akpovwa, Publisher of the Abuja Inquirer to the witness box. Mr. Akpovwa submitted a statement under oath and urged the honorable court to adopt same. In his statement, Mr. Akpovwa said Kuku’s suit was frivolous, and an abuse of court process, calculated to intimidate the media. He insisted the newspaper is not guilty in the case.
Kuku ran the Amnesty programme under President Goodluck Jonathan. His tenure had come under serious investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. In 2015, he was invited by the EFCC as part of its ongoing investigation, but Mr. Kuku failed to show up. His lawyers wrote to the EFCC that he was in America for medical reasons and will honour their invitation by September 30, 2016, but he has not returned to answer the invitation of the EFCC for almost two years now.
Also, in his statement under oath, which was admitted in court, Mr. Akpovwa said: “the words complained of by the plaintiff were neither libelous nor slanderous, but well considered and made in the public interest.”
Under cross examination by Kuku’s lawyer, Barrister C. Okorie from the Chambers of Karina Tunya, SAN, Mr. Akpovwa insisted that the Publication of the story was driven by pure public interest and not for any financial gains, pointing out that that fact that Kingsley Kuku has not returned to Nigeria to answer the EFCC invitation buttresses the story. Mr. Akpovwa was the first defense witness called by Barrister Offiong, and was cross examined for nearly two hours.
He urged the court to dismiss the suit “with costs for being frivolous, vexatious” and an abuse of court process. He also asked for N5,000,000 [five million Naira} in “general Damages.”
The case was adjourned to March 14 where the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu is expected to testify for the defense.
Dan Akpovwa, Publisher of The Abuja Inquirer, in the Witness box at the Abuja High Court, talking to his Lawyer, Barrister Bassey Offiong, at the resumed hearing of the Kingsley Kuku Vs Abuja Inquirer Case yesterday