A legal practitioner and a two term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Effiong Bob, has carried out his threat to sue Barr Leo Ekpenyong, for his alleged libellous publication in an online newspaper (MetroDaily NG.COM) on 25th August 2019, captioned “Judgement for sale in Akwa Ibom State National Elections petition Tribunal”.
The publication allegedly suggested that Justice W. O. Akanbi visits and parks his vehicle in his(Senator Bob’s) Uyo residence.
Senator Bob through his lawyer, Samuel Ikpo Esq, filed a 150million naira suit against Leo Ekpenyong before the State High court, Uyo. On 2 September 2019, with the suit number HU/273/2019.
“Again, Justice Akanbi throughout the duration of the tribunal sitting in Uyo has developed the culture of habitually parking his vehicle in the residence of a former attorney-general of the State and Commissioner for Justice who is a Chieftain of the PDP and whose son is currently serving as a member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. ……” Barr Leo Ekpenyong stated in his publication on MetroDaily NG.COM.
Refuting the allegations contained in the said publication, Sen. Bob said that ” Hon. Justice Akanbi doesn’t know his residence talkless of parking his vehicle in it. he also said that, he is not a party to the said suit pending before the Tribunal, as he had traveled out of the country to Germany since 8th July 2019 and that his residence has been fully secured by security operatives also, that he doesn’t not as well knows the said Justice Akanbi.”
Bob further stated that, the son contested and won the just concluded election into the State House of Assembly to the annoyance of many including Barr. Leo Ekpenyong.
The two term Senator representing Uyo Senatorial District had on 26th August 2019 in a letter, demanded an apology, retraction and payment of 150million naira to assuage the losses he suffered as a result of the offending publication.
He also threatened to sue him should he failed to accede to the demand “within 48 hours”
Bob alleged that Leo Ekpenyong’s stock in trade is to blackmail people, stating that he petitioned the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godwill Akpabio to the chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for abuse of public funds, gross misappropriation of Akwa Ibom tax payers funds.
Senator Bob said that the defamatory publication has portrayed him as a corrupt person who lends credence to the perversion of justice, guilty of corrupt practices and should be apprehended by the Independent Corrupt practices commission, prosecuted and convicted. Also that he should be shunned and avoided by decent people in the society. Further more that he uses his residence to perpetrate fraudulent and conceals criminal activities.
He prays the court to direct Mr. Leo Ekpenyong to write and publish an open apology in the same online newspaper (MetroDaily NG.COM) and 150 million naira as being the cost of general damages for the said label.
The case will be called once the court resumes from break.