By Lukman Olabiyi

Justice Taiwo Olatokun of the Ikeja High Court has ordered substituted service on President, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), Idorenyen Enang, in a N20 million libel suit filed against him by Marketing Edge Publications Limited.

Justice Olatokun granted the request of the claimant following an application moved by his counsel, Felix Akinisola.

The trial judge granted the claimant’s request that the court papers be pasted on the wall of the Secretariat of the institute, the front desk officer and any other staff of the institute. The court agreed with the submission of Akinisola that the institute, which is the first defendant, would be an appropriate place of service for Enang, who is its president.

During resumed proceedings, the first and second defendants were not represented in court, consequent upon which the claimant was granted leave to move his application.

Akinisola told the court that he filed an ex-parte application asking for an order of the court for substituted service on the second defendant by pasting on the wall of the office and front desk officer in his office. He argued that such service would be sufficient to bring notice of the suit to the attention of the second defendant, saying, “since he is the president of the institute”.

Akinisola told the court that the application is supported by a 10-paragraph affidavit, stressing that in paragraph 6 of the affidavit, the deponent deposed to where the second defendant would be served by substituted means. He submitted that the second defendant’s only known address is the first defendant.

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Justice Olatokun, thereafter, adjourned the matter to October 8, 2024 for report of service.

The claimant is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant and all its officers, allies from further threat and harassment of any form, either through the use of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) or any other security agencies.

The claimant is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant, its officers, and other persons acting for and on behalf of the defendants from continued publication of the libellous publication or any other publication to the like effect.

It also included an order of perpetual injunction restraining the second defendant, either by himself, his officers, any person acting for and on his behalf or through any office he may occupy, either now or at any time in future, from further threat and harassment of any form and from publishing and or making libellous and defamatory statements towards the claimant and or any person, natural or non-natural associated with it.

The claimant, in its 36-point statement of claim, averred that it was clear that the institute had embarked on a witch hunt with a fierce determination to undermine the efforts and reputation of the claimant, with the sinister intention of running down the business of the claimant through toxic and malicious publications.

The claimant averred that except the court restrained the defendants, they would continue to spread the libellous and damaging publications which has occasioned grievous harm to the finance, reputation, business and the standing of the claimant.

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