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Lawyer bags 6 months imprisonment over libellous publication against Dangote Cement

*Muhammed Omeiza Tahir of a Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja, convicts and sentences Augustine Addeh of Mokidi and Co. law firm to six months’ imprisonment over a defamatory publication against Dangote Cement Plc

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A magistrate court in Abuja, FCT, has convicted and jailed a lawyer for six months for a defamatory publication against Dangote Cement Plc.

Dangote Group, in a statement, noted the convict, Augustine Addeh of Mokidi and Co law firm, had caused the publication of an advert in The Nation Newspaper of Friday, November 6, 2015, where he falsely alleged that the Dangote Cement caused the invasion of Okpella Community with armed gangsters October 30, 2015.

The conglomerate stated that Addeh in the publication, also sought to debar the company’s enlistment on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), and other stock markets around the world.

The statement also said: “The sponsor of the defamatory publication purported that the company caused terrorists to block the Okpella-Benin road which resulted in sporadic shooting, while also causing the death of an innocent person.”

According to the company, following a petition Ahmed Hashem, Dangote Cement’s Representative, signed and sent to the Inspector General of Police(IGP), the originator of the damaging advert was arrested and arraigned in the magistrate court sitting in Abuja.

“The convict was thereafter tried for offences of criminal conspiracy, defamation and intimidation punishable under the penal code,” Dangote Group said.

Delivering judgment in Dutse Alhaji, Abuja, on the suit Thursday, August 10 this year, the Magistrate, Muhammaed Omeiza Tahir, held that the prosecution proved its case against the sponsor of the libellous publication.

The company further stated that a copy of the judgment revealed that Muhammed Omeiza Tahir, the Magistrate, held that investigation showed the publication was false, malicious and damaging to the Dangote Cement Plc.

The Magistrate thus ruled that the elements of defamation had been established by the prosecution, noted the statement.

Magistrate Tahir, therefore, sentenced the convict to six months’ imprisonment.

The Magistrate noted that the convict would also publish a public apology in some national newspapers within two weeks of the ruling, failure of which he will be jailed for three months without an option of fine.

Meanwhile, Mr. Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief Branding and Corporate Communication Officer, has stated the Dangote Group will continue to maintain a robust relationship with its host communities in Nigeria, as well as nurture and cherish the bond.

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