National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

An Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, has adjourned till March 14, hearing on a N50 billion libel suit filed against the NHRC by Sen. Ayo Arise.

The adjournment on Tuesday followed the request by the plaintiff’s counsel, Mr Akinlabi Akingbade, who told the court that his client was ill.

Arise, who represented Ekiti-North between 2007 and 2011 in the Senate, is seeking N50 billion damages from the National Rights Human Commission (NHRC) in the libel suit.

Akingbade had told the court that his client was having some health challenges and had, at presently, lost his voice which would adversely affect his cross examination.

“He was kidnapped sometime last year and he spent about a week in the kidnappers’ den. At present, he is receiving treatment and will hopefully recover,” he said.

In the suit, the counsel alleged that sometime in August, 2016, the NHRC released a report which labeled and indicted his client as one of the electoral offenders in the country.

He said that the report had considered past elections in the country including the 2007 general election which it adjudged the worst.

Akingbade argued though there were some civil irregularities in the 2007 senatorial election but his client was cleared by the Court of Appeal, after he had won the re-run in 2008.

He claimed that the NHRC had no right to have indicted his client as the electoral matters were handled by an election petition tribunal.

The plaintiff is seeking a retraction from the NHRC which should be published in seven national dailies.

He is further seeking the order of the court, restraining any security agency in the country from acting upon the report of the commission.

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