From: Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Augustine Ityoyiman has fixed February 26, 2021 to either hear report on out of court settlement or proceed on definite hearing in the case between Governor Samuel Ortom and former All Progressives Congress Chairman Adams Oshiomole.
Justice Ityoyiman made the pronouncement during yesterday’s sitting after Governor Ortom had expressed worry over the manner the former APC Chairman was handling the out of court settlement.
The erstwhile APC Chairman last year sought for an out of court settlement, a move which was communicated to the court on October 13, 2020 even as Justice Ityoyiman had adjourned the case to October 29.2020 to hear the out of court settlement.
After two adjournments, with the last been on December 16, 2020, the case resumed Thursday 28,2021 to hear the report on the out of court settlement earlier canvassed by Oshiomhole.
However, this was not to be as Ladi Archibong, who held the brief of Ortom’s counsel, Samuel Irabor, told the court that the out of court settlement has failed, and it appears the defendants are not serious with the process.
Ladi submitted that she
has the express instruction of Irabor to ask the court to fix a date for definite hearing of the N10 billion libel suit against Oshiomhole and the APC.
Titus Akuha who held the brief of counsel to Oshiomhole and the APC, Festus Jumbo, opposed the submission of Ortom’s lawyer.
He said all the terms of settlement have been met, except one issue that is still remaining, so the settlement cannot be said to have failed.
Justice Ityoyiman after listening to counsels to the parties in the suit adjourned the case to February 26, 2020 for report on the out of court settlement or definite hearing.
It should ne noted that Governor Ortom had filed the libel suit against the former APC chairman over his comments against him in an APC sponsored press conference held on July 27,2018, wherein Oshiomhole accused Governor Ortom of having a hand in the death of two(2) Catholic priests and other parishioners at Mbalom Community, Gwer East local government on the grounds that one of the priests had preached a ‘very critical sermon’ against the Governor.