From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Deputy Auditor, Hon. Amina Divine Arong, has instituted a libelous case against Mr Onawu Onor Alobi, the chairman of Olulumo ward in Ikom local area of Cross River state, claiming N200m damages.
Amina, the former Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Presidency and National Assembly Matters and South-South Women’s Leader, Grassroots Mobilisation, and Alobi have been at loggerhead over a publication carried out by the later purportedly suspending the former (Amina) from PDP and subsequently seeking her disqualification from contesting the position of PDP National Women Leader in 2021 PDP National Convention.
In the letter dated October 22, 2021 and signed by Mr Onawu Onor Alobi, the chairman of Olulumo ward, Amina was accused among others of fraudulently super-imposing Alobi’s signature on her nomination form, which he claims amounts to gross-misconduct and constant absence from party’s activities thereby evading party dues and contributions since 2014, which amount to docility and contravention to party rules. And based on the above allegations, the Alobi invoked the relevant section of the party’s constitution and subsequently “suspended Ms Amina Divine Arong indefinitely from the party forthwith.”
In a Suit filed by the counsel, Emmanuel Mbotor, with No HC/135/2022 and dated April 19, 2022, Amina is claiming a declaration that “the content of the defendant’s (Alobi) letter dated October 22, 2021 and the undated letter to PDP Screening Committee and Appeal Panel Committee against the claimant (Amina) constitute malicious, libellous and defamatory publications of the claimant.”
“Claiming damages for libel including exemplary and Special damages in the sum of N200, 000 million only and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant (Alobi) whether by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise from further publishing or causing to be published the said similar words defamatory of the claimant anywhere.
“An order compelling the defendant to publish or cause to be published a retraction of the libellous and defamatory letters dated 22/10/21 addressed tp Ms Amina Divine Arong and another one to the chairman, PDP, Screening, Committee and Appeal Panel and an apology letters to the claimant, Amina Divine Arong, PDP Olulumo ward, Ikom chapter, PDP Cross River State and PDP National, Wadata Plaza, Abuja as well as cause a publication to be made in two national dailies.”
In her statement of claim, Amina stated that she has held various political offices including South-South Women leader, PDP Youth REAP 2013, Women leader, United Initiative for Sustainable Development, Cross River chapter and Coordinator, Yar’ Adua/Jonathan Solidarity Forum as well as attended local and international conferences, showing that she is “a woman of proven integrity, which will attest to her character positively.”
According to her, “the defendant, Alobi, defamed her in his letters by publishing libellous allegations through the social media (Internet) in the words contained in the letters just as Alobi has done damage to her reputation as a result of defamatory and libellous publication by the defendant.”
Amina had contested for the position of national women leader during the last PDP national convention held on October 30-31, 2021 in spite of the petition seeking for her disqualification based on the letter of suspension emanating from her ward chairman, Alobi, the panel eventually cleared her to contest the election as they did not see any merit on the letter and her name appeared on the ballot papers for the election.