Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
A Makurdi High Court presided over by Justice Aondover Kakaan has issued a warrant for the arrest of the publisher of the Nigerian Concord, Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi, for disobeying the judgment of the court, and evading service of court processes.
Justice Kakaan issued the order while ruling on the motion filed by Counsel to the Governor of Benue State, Andrew Wombo, seeking to serve form 48 (notice of consequences of disobedience) on the publisher of the Nigerian Concord, Mr Oluwarotimi, through substituted means, as he is evading service, and has disobeyed the court judgement.
Wombo had informed the court that the Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi has read the judgement of the court through substituted means, and has also made comments on the matter, but has failed to comply with the judgment of the court which was delivered on the 6th of November, 2017 in a libel suit instituted against him by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State.
In his ruling, Justice Kakaan held that from the evidence before him, Abiodun Oluwarotimi was aware of the judgment of the court and was only disobeying orders of the court and avoiding service of court processes.
He ordered the Nigerian Police force to arrest him and bring to court to tender reasons why he has been disobeying the judgment of the court and why he should not be sent to prison for contempt.
Speaking with newsmen after the ruling, Governor Ortom’s lawyer, Wombo said the arrest warrant on Oluwarotimi was in order, saying that the court had no alternative than to issue the arrest warrant as he had continued with his libelous publications even after the judgement of November 6th,2017.
It will be recalled that a Makurdi High Court, presided over by Justice Adam Onum had on the 6th of November, 2017 while delivering judgement in the suit filed by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom ordered the publisher of Nigerian Concord, Mr. Aare Abiodun Oluwarotimi, to pay a fine of N5 million to the Governor as damages.
The court had also ordered the publisher to retract the libelous publications in national newspapers, television, radio as well as social media platforms.