Obasanjo urges court to vacate restraining order against his book
Nigeria’s ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday prayed an Abuja FCT High Court to vacate its December 10 order restraining him from further publishing, printing or offering for sale, his new book entitled: “My Watch.”
Obasanjo also urged the court to set aside its earlier order directing the Inspector-General of Police (IG), the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Comptroller -General of Customs (CGC), to recover the published book from all book stands.
He also urged the court to set aside its order directing security agents to confiscate copies of the said book from sales agents, vendors, the sea and airports and deposit them with the court’s registrar, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Mr Buruji Kashamu, a PDP chieftain, had sued Obasanjo for libel over Obasanjo’s claim in a letter that he (Obasanjo) wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan alleging that he (Kashamu) is a US fugitive.
Kashamu had on Decenber 5 shown cause why the court should grant the first restraining order of December 5 on the ground that the subject of the libel suit was contained in the new book by Obasanjo.
Notwithstanding the order of December 5, Obasanjo went ahead and unveiled the book on December 9 in Lagos, thereby, prompting the court to make the orders of December 10.
On Monday’s sitting, Mr Kanu Agabi (SAN), Obasanjo’s counsel, urged the court to set aside the December 10 order on the ground that the court wrongly applied the law in reaching its decision.
He argued that it was wrong for the court to have granted a restraining injunction against a party in a libel case, who pleaded justification.
Agabi said that the court should have first determined whether or not the publication complained about was libelous, before restraining Obasnajo from engaging in further publication.
Mr Alex Izinyon, SAN, Kashamu’s counsel in his counter-affidavit, urged the court to discountenance Obasanjo’s prayers.
He argued that it was wrong for the former president to seek the vacation of injunctions which had been executed.
The trial judge, Justice Valentine Ashi, adjourned the case until March 30 for ruling.