I’m not a Boko Haram sponsor, Ihejirika tells court

lieutenant-general-onyeabor-azubuike-ihejirika-650x400A former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Oyeabo Ihejirika, has told an FCT High Court that he is not involved in Boko Haram Sect.

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

Ihejirika sued Nduka Obaigbena, Leaders and Company Limited, and Stephen Davis, an Australian who claimed to be a hostage negotiator working for the release of Nigerian women taken hostage by the Boko Haram sect at Chibok, Borno in 2014.

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

He also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further defamatory comments concerning him.

Ihejirika wanted the defendants to publish a full retraction and apology in the front page of ThisDay Newspaper for the said false and libellous publication

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

On whether his duties as General is of public consumption, 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 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.

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His Counsel, A.B. Anachebe (SAN), had raised objection that his client would not answer the question by the defence if the story published in ThisDay Newspaper about Ihejirika was true.

Anachabe said that the question and false publication was the reason why they were in  court

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

Davis granted Arise TV, interview and it was aired in Abuja and published by newspapers, including ThisDay Newspaper and media houses in 2014.

He told his interviewers that a former Chief of Army Staff who retired in January 2014 was actually sacked by the president because he was a sponsor of the Boko Haram sect.

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

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Source: NAN