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Court Orders Linda Ikeji to Pay N30m for Damages

A Delta State High Court in Effurun has made a decision regarding a case involving popular Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji.

Beyond Boders reports that the court has ordered Ikeji to pay a sum of N30 million as compensation for a damaging article she published about the Neo Black Movement (NBM) of Africa.

The presiding judge, Justice Roli Daibo-Harriman, issued the ruling on Monday, also requiring Ikeji to cover the litigation costs, totaling N300,000.

Additionally, she must retract the libelous publication on her blog and in national newspapers.

Ikeji, who was the defendant in the lawsuit (EHC/210/2021), is now prohibited from making further harmful statements against the NBM of Africa and its members.

The lawsuit was brought by the Registered Trustees of NBM of Africa, Ese Kakor, Felix Kupa, and Mayor Onyebueke.

The case stemmed from an article Ikeji published on October 19, 2021, where she allegedly referred to the NBM of Africa as a “dreaded cult group,” “black axe,” and a “criminal organization,” among other defamatory terms.

The claimants demanded an apology and retraction, which Ikeji failed to provide, leading to the legal action.

In her ruling, Justice Daibo-Harriman affirmed that the terms used by Ikeji were indeed defamatory.

After the court proceedings, the claimants’ lead counsel, Mr. Kelvin Agbroko, emphasized the importance of verifying information before publication, stating that the NBM of Africa is a legally registered organization.

Moreover, he expressed satisfaction with the judgment, highlighting its thoroughness.

Mr. Ese Kakor, President of NBM of Africa, welcomed the ruling, emphasizing that it should serve as a warning to bloggers and the public against spreading false information to damage reputations.

He clarified that the NBM of Africa is a lawful entity and condemned attempts to associate it with criminal activities.

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