In February, the Paramount Ruler of Okochiri in Okrika, King Ateke Tom filed a defamation suit against 8 APC leaders.eaders. He accused them of “publishing or caused to have published,” a false statement that he (Ateke) is a criminal. The counsel to Ateke Tom, Granville Abibo told a High Court in Port Harcourt that the APC leaders have been avoiding service of the suit by the court bailiff.

Following the evasion, the court, presided by the Justice C.D Greene, ordered that the suit be served to the defendants through alternative means such as; publication on newspapers, and pasting at their homes and public places.

The 8 APC leaders which include Hon. Asita O. Asita, Asita O. Asita, Tonye Princewill, Davis Ikanya, Emeka Bekee, Samson Ngeribara, Sekonte Davies, Lawrence Chukwu, and Dumo Lulu Briggs led a pro-SARS rally in December, where several placards and banners were displayed. One of the banners had Ateke’s photo printed on it with an inscription “Governor Wike is making criminals Kings and attacking security agencies.”

Justice Greene fixed May 9 2018 for a pre-trial conference. At the conference, it is expected that the various claims by the parties will be amended, and the judge will establish a course of proceedings; or the parties could have an out-of-court settlement on the matter.

King Ateke Tom is demanding for One Billion Naira as compensation for the damage on his character, and an apology published in three widely read newspapers.

Credit: Touch PH