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JELR 42529 (SC)

Supreme Court  •   •  Nigeria



BOONYAMIN OLADIRAN KAZEEM, J.S.C. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The appellant had sued the respondents for libel at the Makurdi High Court and had won, but that decision was reversed by the Court of Appeal at Jos on 12th September, 1983.

The facts pleaded at the trial by the appellant was that he was appointed as Chairman of the Idoma Area Chieftaincy Disputes Panel by the Benue State Government, to determine and codify methods of selecting traditional title (Office) holders such as district and clan-heads in all parts of Idoma area; and that that appointment was published in the Benue State Official Gazette NO.5 Volume 3 of 2nd February, 1978. It was also pleaded that on the completion of the assignment by the panel, and the submission of its reports, the Benue State Government published a White Paper on the subject; that thereafter, the respondents published an article on page 6 of the Nigerian Standard of 20th October, 1978 which the appellant considered to be defamatory of him…

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