Thursday, March 14, 2019

Nigerian Journalist Awarded $99,599, N3M In 33-Year-Old Case

A Nigerian journalist Dr Ode Okore, has been awarded a total of $99,599 and a separate N3m by the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division,  in a 33-year-old case against The Guardian newspaper. Dr Ode Okore who was the newspaper's foreign correspondent at one time and also in charge of The Guardian North American Bureau in New York, had in August 1986 sued the newspaper before the Lagos State High Court for wrongful termination of his employment. 

However the case was struck out in its 26th year by the state high court, over lack of jurisdiction following  the amendment to the 1999 Constitution (Third Alteration Act 2010), which took effect on March 4, 2011.Okore however filed a fresh one before the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division in August 2013, which was struck out in March 2017, after which, the unrelenting journalist filed a third one in November 2017. The Nigerian journalist in a new twist of event, was then awarded $99,599 and N3m in the 33-year-old case which Justice Nelson Ogbuanya presided in. 

Punch reported that the Judge who dismissed the preliminary objection of the newspaper that the case was statute-barred, misconceived, frivolous, vexatious and constituted an abuse of court processes, held that it was not Okore’s fault that the state high court struck out his case, which had lasted 26 years in court, before the constitution was amended to strip the high court of jurisdiction.

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