The Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja, Nigeria, has dismissed an N8.25bn libel suit filed by Arik Air Nigeria Limited in 2012 against Punch Nigeria Limited.
In a judgment delivered on June 21, 2016, Justice S.C. Oriji dismissed Arik’s suit for lacking in merit and ordered the airline to pay a cost of N50,000 to Punch.
The Judge declared that Arik failed to prove that it suffered any financial loss or injury to its reputation as a result of an April 8, 2012 Sunday Punch’s publication with the title, “Debt: AMCON takes over Arik Air,” which the airline had complained of.
Arik Airline had, through its lawyer, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), dragged Punch Nigeria Limited and three of its employees – Casmir Igbokwe, Ademola Alawiye and Oyetunji Abioye – to court claiming that the defendants maliciously defamed it through the April 8, 2012 Sunday Punch publication.
Izinyon had argued that the Sunday Punch’s publication falsely and maliciously portrayed his client as being insolvent, fraudulent, liquidated, an irresponsible corporate person, a company not worth doing business with and one being run and managed by fraudulent persons.