Lawyer to Chief Tony Okoroji, COSON Chairman, Mr. James Ononoiwu of Whitedove Solicitors has confirmed that arrangements have been concluded to refile the N100 Million slander case brought by Chief Okoroji against Mr. Obi Ezeilo of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) at the High Court of Enugu State. This follows the decision of the Lagos High Court Judge, Hon Justice A.M. Lawal that since the slander commenced in Enugu, the matter should be filed in Enugu.
According to Mr. Ononiwu, “Chief Okoroji’s case was never dismissed. The matter was only struck out. Those familiar with the practice of law know that there is a world of difference between the two. When a case is dismissed, it is dead except on appeal. When a case is struck out, it can be refilled as is being done in this matter. I was in court when the judge read his ruling. even though I was not the lawyer on record.
“If I were Mr. Ezeilo who was not in court and did not listen to the ruling, I would not celebrate because this natter is still very much alive. Mr. Ezeilo had three grounds of objection to the suit. On his first ground of objection which was that he was entitled to a 3 months pre-action notice as an officer of the Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Judge vehemently disagreed with him. On his second ground of objection that Chief Okoroji had not disclosed any cause of action against him, the Judge disagreed saying that the words spoken by Mr. Ezeilo against Chief Okoroji were slanderous and that Chief Okoroji had a well-known reputation capable of being damaged by Mr. Ezeilo’s words. The judge confirmed that he is one of the many judges who have read Chief Tony Okoroji’s book, Copyright & the New Millionaires used by judges and lawyers to resolve copyright cases across the country”.
Added Mr. Ononiwu, “Anyone who knows Chief Tony Okoroji knows that he is a long-distance runner. He is brilliant, very analytical and very calm. He does not take decisions in a hurry. He is a leader’s leader. Chief Tony Okoroji is a great believer in the Nigerian judicial system. He understands that it takes patience to achieve your goal in a court of law and in this matter, he has made it clear that he understands that patience is required.
“Very soon, Mr. Obi Ezeilo will have to head to Enugu to answer to Chief Tony Okoroji”