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Court lifts ban on Obasanjo's autobiography, My Watch
A Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja has lifted the injunction barring former President Olusegun Obasanjo from publishing his autobiography, My Watch.
The same court had in December 2014 ordered law enforcement agencies to confiscate the three-volume book when it was discovered that it had been published before the order was made.
But on Tuesday, Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court ordered the release of seized copies of the book from the custody of the Nigerian Customs Service to Obasanjo.
He set aside the order of injunction upon an application by Obasanjo’s lawyer, Kanu Agabi (SAN).
The court asked the Customs not to collect demurrage on the book for the period it had overspent in their custody.
The court upheld Agabi’s argument that the applicant, Buruji Kashamu, suppressed vital facts to obtain the order.
Kashamu , a Peoples Democratic Party Senator-elect, is pursuing a N20bn libel suit against Obasanjo in the court.
No journalist was in court when the judge lifted the injunction on Tuesday. The ruling was to have been delivered on March 30 but was deferred and a new date (Tuesday) communicated to the parties.
Kashamu had on December 10, 2014 obtained the injunction from the court through an ex parte application which he filed in the N20bn libel suit against Obasanjo.
Kashamu had anchored his prayer on the argument that some parts of the book related to the subject matter of the libel suit – a letter dated December 2, 2013 written by Obasanjo to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Kashamu had instituted the suit against Obasanjo for describing him as a fugitive wanted for drug offences in the United States.
Obasanjo’s letter to Jonathan was widely published in the electronic and print media.
On December 5, 2014, Justice Ashi granted an ex parte application restraining Obasanjo from publishing the book pending the determination of the libel suit.
But Obasanjo went ahead to present the book to the public in Lagos, an act which the court held on December 10, 2014, as contemptuous.
Source - PUNCH
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