Nigeria Press Release Distribution
Nigeria Press Release Distribution

‘I’m not Boko Haram sponsor’ – Ihejirika tells court

Court

A former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Oyeabo Ihejirika, has told an FCT High Court that he is not involved with the Boko Haram Sect.

He told the court on Thursday that he fought the Boko Haram sect using his commanders in the field.

Ihejirika sued Nduka Obaigbena, Leaders and Company Limited, and Stephen Davis, an Australian who claimed to be a hostage negotiator working for the release of Nigerian women taken hostage by the Boko Haram sect at Chibok, Borno State in 2014.

The former army boss is claiming N100bn for damages from the defendants for defamation in the interview granted by Davis to Arise TV and then published in ThisDay newspaper.

He also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further defamatory comments concerning him.

Ihejirika wants the defendants to publish a full retraction and apology in the front page of ThisDay newspaper for the said false and libellous publication.

Ihejirika, who was cross examined by counsel for the defendants, Frank Chude, said that Boko Haram were terrorists and the Nigerian Army is fighting the group.

On whether his duties as a General is of public consumption, Ihejirika said he was a public figure and issues related to him were for public consumption.

The former COAS said he did not have personal issues with Boko Haram but fought them as terrorists.

He admitted that he had heard the tape of the interview and that his name was not mentioned.

But Ihejirika said he was the only Chief of Army Staff that retired in January 2014 as mentioned in the tape.

He also said he had never granted ThisDay newspaper any interview but had read the said publication when his attention was drawn to it.

His Counsel, A.B. Anachebe (SAN), had raised objection that his client would not answer the question by the defence if the story published in ThisDay newspaper about Ihejirika was true.

Anachebe said the question and false publication were the reasons they were in court.

Justice Valentine Ashi adjourned the case till November 2 and 3, 2016 for continuation of cross examination and defence. (NAN).

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