Google sued N500m in libel suit against blogger

Blogger, Ladun Liadi is a co-defendant in the case.

A Lagos High Court on Tuesday adjourned a N500 million libel suit slammed against Google Incorporation, by a Nigerian, accusing the technology giant of failing to censor contents published on its blogging platform by a Nigerian blogger.

The suit was filed by Nicholas Okoye, Chairman, Anabel Group, against Ladun Liadi, a blogger, over an alleged libelous publication on Google’s BlogSpot.

Joined as defendants in the case are Google Incorporated and Google Nigeria – accused of improper editorial censorship of the publication.

The court at Igbosere, adjourned to October after the defence challenged the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Justice Adedayo adjourned the case till October 9, following the defence’ service of the two processes out of time.

The two applications are a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit and a prayer to strike out the name of the third defendant, Google Nigeria, from the suit.

At the resumed hearing, counsel to the claimant, Emeka Okwosa, had told the court that the defence had served him the processes but out of time as stipulated by law

“The matter is for hearing of the second defendant’s preliminary objection, which had been served with two other processes but out of time,” he said.

Emmanuel Gbahabo, the counsel to Google, admitted that the processes were served out of time. He, however, told the court that the claimant had not sufficiently demonstrated that the libelous statements had been downloaded within the jurisdiction of the court.

At the last hearing, counsel to the claimant, Mr. Okwosa, had filed an application for interlocutory injunction to prevent the defendants from further publication of the libelous documents till judgment was passed.

A.H. Enakhifo, counsel to Ms. Liadi, had said that his client had complied and there was no evidence that the libelous publication had been downloaded.

“My clients have complied and up to this moment, there is still nothing to show that the libelous publication had been downloaded,” he said.

(NAN)

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