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Buruji Kashamu: Court stops Obasanjo from publishing autobiography

08/12/2014 08:10

A Federal High Court in Wuse Zone II, Abuja, has restrained former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo from publishing his new autobiography, "My Watch".


The court also restrained him from giving someone else to go-ahead to publish the book.


Buruji Kashamu, a member and stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State, made the request for the order in an ex parte application.


Justice Valentine Ashi, who granted the order of Kashamu’s lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN), made the order on Friday maintaining that part of the content of the book related to the subject matter of the N20bn libel suit instituted by Kashamu against  Obasanjo.


The court, therefore, restrained Obasanjo from publishing the book, pending the determination of the libel suit instituted against him.


The content of the book was said to be related to a letter dated December 2, 2013, written by Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan, claiming that Kashamu was wanted for drug-related crime in the United States.


Iziyon had argued on Friday that since part of the content of the autobiography related to the December 2, 2013 letter, which is the subject matter of the libel suit, it was wrong for Obasanjo to be allowed to proceed to comment on, write books about or make publications on the issue yet to be decided by the court.


The court order read in part, “The defendant, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, whether by himself, his agents, servants, privies or any other person by whatever name called and howsoever described, is hereby restrained from publishing or caused to be published in the yet to be published book, ‘My Watch’ or any autobiography or biography and any extracts of same, by whatever name called or howsoever titled, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice hereof.”


The judge further restrained Obasanjo and his agents “from further writing, printing, publishing or causing to be published or printed or circulated, or otherwise, publishing of and concerning the plaintiff, the statement contained in the Daily Sun (pages 47-49) and The Leadership (pages 3 to 8) newspapers of December 12, 2013, and which statements are alleged to have reproduced the letter written by the defendant to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, titled: ‘Before it is too late’ or similar statements pending the determination of the motion on notice.”


The judge also directed Kashamu to enter into a bond with the Chief Registrar of the court for damages he would pay should the order restraining Obasanjo from publishing the book turned out to be something the court ought not to have been granted.


The judge asked the applicant to “execute a bond with the Registrar of the court to pay such damages as shall be assessed should it turn out that the order ought not to have been granted in the first place.”


The court adjourned hearing in the main suit till December 10.


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