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Elombah Communications Berates Kogi Govt Over Suit on Elombah Michael

RE: Libel: Onoja slams N100m suit on online publisher, Elombah Michael, Drags Daily Post, Others to Court for Fake News

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The attention of Elombah Communications, publishers of ElombahNews, formerly known as Elombah.com, has been drawn to a poorly-scripted report circulated on Facebook by a blogger, Insidestoryng titled “Libel: Onoja slams N100m suit on online publisher, Elombah Michael, Drags Daily Post, Others to Court for Fake News”, written by one Onogwu Muhammed.

Elombah Communications is bemused that the plaintiff, an impersonator of The Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Hon. Edward Onoja, could not differentiate between Elombah Communications and ZZ Solutions Developer and Technology Ltd which has Elombah Michael as it’s chief executive.

We further ask whether the plaintiff is such an illiterate, or just too lazy to realise Elombah Communications is a separate entity from ZZ Solutions Developer and Technology Ltd.

Does the plaintiff sincerely believe that anyone with “Elombah” as surname automatically assumes the status of publisher or owner of ElombahNews?

For the sake of clarity, Elombah Michael, the proprietor of ZZ Solutions Developer and Technology Ltd, is neither the owner of Elombah Communications nor publishers of ElombahNews, otherwise known as Elombah.com.

Elombah Michael is a Programmer. He is not an employee of Elombah Communications nor does his company have any contractual relationship with Elombah communications, ElombahNews or Elombah.com.

We trust that the Kogi State government, it’s governor or it’s accredited officials are familiar with the proprietors of Elombah Communications, and publishers of ElombahNews, as we have been having almost daily contact with them till date.

We believe that the suit was instituted by one of these hungry, attention-seeking, charge-and-bail lawyers seeking the recognition of Hon. Edward Onoja.

We, therefore, advise the plaintiff to desist from impersonating the real Edward Onoja.

The Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Edward Onoja has not instituted any suit against ElombahNews, nor against its publishers, Elombah Communications.

We have never hidden our identity or our means of contact.

See below the report by Insidestoryng titled “Libel: Onoja slams N100m suit on online publisher, Elombah Michael, Drags Daily Post, Others to Court for Fake News”.

The Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Hon. Edward Onoja has instituted N100m suit on an online publisher, Elombah Michael for making libelous publication against him.

The publisher had in September last year made publication calling the plaintiff a burglar who “…leads soldiers to break office gates.” The Chief of Staff is seeking an order of the court for the defendant to pay N100m for the damages the said defamatory publication has caused to his personality as one of the principal aides to the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. The publisher, his company, ZZ Solutions Developer and Technology Ltd, and one Omoruku Joy Chinyere are being dragged before a Kogi State High Court to answer questions for making such unethical and malicious publication against Hon Onoja.

The originating summons, which was served on the defendants by substituted means read that Onoja is claiming amongst other things that all the allegations contained in the publication of September 26th, 2017, entitled: “‘Kogi Chief of Staff leads soldiers to break office gates’ and circulated on Facebook page and other social media platform is malicious, libelous and defamatory.” The court papers further read that the Kogi State Governor’s Chief of Staff also wants the court to compel the three defendants to publish in at least three national dailies a public apology retracting the malicious and libelous publication against him. The one hundred million naira (N100m) claim against the three defendants by Onoja, according to the originating summons, is meant for compensation and damages for the hardship on him occasioned by the defendants’ malicious and defamatory publication. The false and malicious publication, according to Onoja, was the defendants’ desperate attempts to destroy and defame his political career and fortune.

Onojo also sought redress for the defamatory adjectives used against him by the defendants who penciled him in the said publication as “the frustrated Chief of Staff” and “the defector (sic) Governor.” The plaintiff in the court summons which read in parts further claimed that:

“The allegation is in the extreme because nothing as maliciously reported and published by the defendants took place. “That Onoja laboured assiduously over the years and made great sacrifices to build his character and career. “That Onoja is a distinctive geologist, prudent treasury manager, banker par excellence and a savvy oil and bank professional. “That Onoja by his past endeavours and present employment is a well-known community leader, a successful politician across his native Igala land, particularly Olamaboro Local Government Area where he hails from, and a ranking official in Kogi State Government. “That consequent upon the defendants’ libelous and malicious publication, Onoja has been inundated with calls and contacts from within and outside Nigeria by all manner of people who denounced the Chief of Staff as rascal, lawless and unfit for public office.” Onoja stated further that the defendants’ publication was really meant to defame him because it was meant to mean that: “The plaintiff is a rogue and lawless person who enjoys taking laws into his hands. “That the plaintiff operates like an armed robber and a criminal who breaks into people’s compounds and offices with intent of mischief. “That the plaintiff is a confirmed criminal. “That the plaintiff is a person of questionable integrity unfit to lead sensitive government institution in Kogi State and Nigeria.” Justice S. O. Otu who issued the writ ruled that judgment shall be given in favour of the Chief of Staff if the “defendants fail to appear before him 30 days from Tuesday, the 10th of April, 2018 when the summons was served on them.”

In the same vein, Onoja is poised to exact redress from Daily Post and other online blogs for another fake story about him last week which claimed his wife, child and himself were involved in a ghastly accident due to “recklessness driving” and “tyre burst.” Using online sources, according to an official in the office of the Chief of Staff, the “fake” story were published by some national dailies a day after it was published by Daily Post. He described as unfortunate the fact that some reputable national dailies who published the fake story against Onoja could not refute it or publish the true position even when they know that the story has since been exposed “as an utter fabrication with no basis in reality.” According to him “We’ve seen in recent times how fake news is often used as a tool by crooked publishers who’re looking to cash in on a fast buck. Fake news is also becoming a tool of trade to preach manipulating lies with the intent of spreading hatred against humanity, causing ethnic unrest, and worst of all, inciting inexcusable violence to boot. The official (name withheld) confided in our correspondent that the media houses which made the publication might face legal actions like Elombah and co. if nothing is done to retract it.

Attached are the relevant documents, including e-mail conversations between the petitioner’s lawyer and Mr Elombah Michael.


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