RainOil boss Gabriel Ogbechie sues Ned Nwoko for N1bn over alleged defamation

Gabriel Ogbechie Rainoil Limited

Managing director of Rainoil Limited Gabriel Ogbechie has filed a suit against ex-lawmaker Ned Nwoko for alleged defamation and threat to life.

Ogbechie filed the suit before Justice Chizoba Oji sitting at the FCT High Court, Abuja.

The lawsuit followed a petition Nwoko, who is married to actress Regina Daniels, wrote to the inspector general of police on November 12, 2020, alleging that Ogbechie wanted to kill him.

The petition followed a land and kingship dispute between Nwoko and the traditional ruler of Idumuje-Ugboko in the Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State.

In another petition on January 7, 2021 to the IGP, Nwoko said his informant who revealed Ogbechie’s plot, Osemeka Bosah, had been killed.

But the police said its investigation showed “there was no evidence to prove the allegation of planned attack to kill Prince Ned Nwoko against Gabriel Ogbechie.”

In a suit marked CV/560/2021 and filed on February 24, 2021, Ogbechie, among other claims, said Nwoko wrote and distributed a defamatory press statement to several newspapers on December 10, 2020, alleging he sponsoring attacks on the Idumuje-Ugboko community in 2017.

The businessman asked the court to declare the petitions against him as false and defamatory, and order Nwoko to retract them while publishing an apology on a full page of a newspaper.

He also appealed to the court to order Nwoko to pay him the sum of N1 billion as damages, adding that a restraining order should be given to prevent Nwoko or his agents from repeating the defamatory acts.

At the last adjourned date on May 30, 2022, Justice Oji advised the parties to explore settlement options out of court. However, the court learnt on Wednesday that talks had broken down.

The judge adjourned the case till February 27, 2023 for hearing, and again urged the parties to seek out-of-court settlement.