Ex-Army Chief, Ihejirika, testifies in court in Boko Haram suit

A former Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Azubuike Ihejirika, has told a FCT High Court that he was not involved in Boko Haram Sect.

He told the court on Thursday that he fought Boko Haram sect using his commanders in the field.

Mr. Ihejirika, retired Lt.-Gen., sued This Day publisher, Nduka Obaigbena, Leaders and Company Limited and Stephen Davis, an Australian, a hostage negotiator working for the release of Nigerian Women held hostage by the Boko Haram at Chibok, Borno, in 2014.

The former army boss is claiming N100 billion for damages from the defendants for alleged defamation in the interview granted by Mr. Davis to Arise TV. The interview was published in ThisDay.

Mr. Ihejirika asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further defamatory comments against him.

Mr. Ihejirika wants the defendants to publish a full retraction and apology in the front page of ThisDay Newspaper.

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Mr. Ihejirika, who was cross-examined by counsel to the defendants, Frank Chude, said Boko Haram members are terrorists and the Nigerian Army is fighting the group.

Mr. Ihejirika said he was a public figure and issues related to him were for public consumption.

The former COAS said he did not have personal issues with Boko Haram but fought them as terrorists.

He admitted that he had heard about the tape of the interview and his name was not mentioned.

But Mr. Ihejirika said he was the only Chief of Army Staff that retired in January 2014 as mentioned in the tape.

He also said he had never granted ThisDay Newspaper any interview but read the said publication when his attention was drawn to it.

Mr. Davis said in the interview that a Boko Haram sponsor a former Chief of Army Staff retired in January 2014.

Mr. Davis also said that he got his source from a Boko Haram senior commander who named the sponsors.

Justice Valentine Ashi adjourned the case till Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 for continuation of cross examination and defence. (NAN)

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