Godfather of Banking: Court adjourns Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia’s suit against journalist till May 7

A Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos State on Monday advised counsel to the parties in a suit filed by Zenith Bank and its Chairman, Mr. Jim Ovia, against a journalist and blogger, Andy Briggs Ikeotuonye, to consolidate their briefs before the next adjourned date of Monday May 7, 2018..

Justice Hadiza Shagari at the resumed hearing of the suit, in which the bank and Ovia are seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the journalist from advertising and selling his new book, ‘Godfather of Banking,’ an expose on the bank chief and his role in the evolution of the sector in Nigeria.

The plaintiffs are seeking the injunction pending the determination of a substantive suit claiming a breach of privacy in the proposed publication.

Whike arguing the motion for the motion exparte, counsel to the plaintiff, Prof. Fabian Ajogwu, (SAN), said it is “to prevent the defendant from doing anything that can overreach the determination of the matter.”

Responding, counsel to the respondent, Ikenna Amechi, asked thr court for accelerated hearing.

He averred that the applicant has not met the conditions for an interlocutory injunction. He added that the respondent had not done anything since the commencement of proceedings to overreach the court.

He urged the applicant “to make facts available before the courrt.”

The counsel to the plaintiff asked the court “to discountenance completely” the counter affidavit filed by the defendant, arguing that it took 17 days rather than the seven days required by law within which to fike a counter-affidavit.
Howrver, the defence counsel fired back, saying his response was within limits.

He stated that since the original affidavit was not delivered by personal service, the extra 10 days must have been taken up by administrative delay.

Earlier, both counsel had disagreed over the number of affidavits filed, with Ajogwu asking to withdraw one of his three affidavits.

The judge said she could not proceed without the technical processes resolved and informed counsel that the ruling on the interlocutory ruling would take place in June.

 

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