A former employee of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has won a libel suit over libellous materials published against her on LinkedIn.
Regina Udobong, a former manager of public and government affairs in Mobil, had sued a former co-employee, Mfon Abia, for publishing the materials, according to court papers seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
Mrs Abia in the publication accused Mrs Udobong and other senior employees of Mobil of using their positions to stall the funding of the company’s scholarship to two Akwa Ibom students who were studying at the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
She published the materials after she left Mobil as a senior analyst, public and government affairs. By then Mrs Udobong was still an employee of Mobil.
A High Court in Uyo, in its judgment on July 15, ruled that the publication was “false and malicious”.
PREMIUM TIMES just obtained a copy of the ruling.
Justice Margaret-Mary Udoma ordered Mrs Abia to pay N500,000 as damages to the claimant, Mrs Udobong, as well as N50,000 as litigation cost.
The court also ordered Mrs Abia to publish a written apology to Mrs Udobong on LinkedIn.
Mrs Udobong’s lawyer, Samuel Ikpo, praised the court for the judgment. He said his client served Mobil meritoriously for 29 years before her retirement.
The defendant, Mrs Abia, told PREMIUM TIMES she did not regret fighting for the rights of poor students from a less-privileged background.
“I am living now in the U.S. with my family, I don’t have the time to go to any Nigerian court with Regina Udobong,” she told PREMIUM TIMES.
“She escaped being sacked because she reached her retirement age while investigations were ongoing and the company could not have sacked her without the investigations being concluded.
“What happened to the scholarship money of the two Akwa Ibom students that were not paid after receiving their scholarship letter? They received an award of scholarship letter but no money paid to the eligible students.
“She escaped ExxonMobil, but cannot and will not escape the Almighty God that sees and knows all,” Mrs Abia said.