US court begins Sowemimo, others’ libel trial
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
A US court sitting in the Eastern District of New York is set to commence trial in a libel case against a Texas-based blogger, Abosede Sowemimo alias Shinkolomo, her husband, Mr. Samuel Sowemimo, Isaac Owolabi and Alonge Michael.
The suit with number 17-cv-6012 was filed on October 10, 2017 by Lawyer Ike Agwuegboy, counsel to the plaintiffs, The Celestial Church of Christ USA Diocese, Joseph Olorunnisola and Amos Adebisi Adeoye.
According to the court paper obtained by our correspondent in New York , the case is about repeated acts of defamation, libel and libel perse committed by the defendants in several online publications and broadcasts.
The court documents state that on August 28, 2017, Samuel Sowemimo and Abosede Sowemimo (2nd and 3rd defendants) caused to be published in Isaac Owolabi’s (First defendant) online magazine, celestialonline.com, and republished in Michael Alonge’s (4th defendant) online magazine, celestialnewsonline.com.
According to the documents, the article was titled: “Who has Comforter Parish, California Shepherd, Adebisi Adeoye, offended?
The defendants published several libelous statements against the plaintiffs in the said article, the court paper also revealed.
The court papers say that those libelous statements were made without any basis in fact and solely to disparage and embarrass Amos Adeoye, the Reverend in charge of CCC, Comforter Parish in the State of California.
According to the documents, the statements contained in the article were false in that Adeoye did none of the despicable things the defendants in their said article claimed.
The document also disclosed that the defendants made many other false statements of facts in the article in order to cause plaintiff’s harm.
However, the Sowemimos have also made further false and derogatory statements concerning the plaintiffs in videos posted on their facebook blog.
The court documents alleged further that between 1st March 2017 and 30th September 2017, the Sowemimos created series if videos in Yoruba language in which they made several false and disparaging remarks.
As a result of the conducts of the defendants, the plaintiffs are entitled to monetary and punitive damages, the court documents say.
The court documents also stated that as a result of the said defamation, Joseph Olorunnisola and Amos Adeoye have continued to suffer from humiliation, loss of standing in the society, loss of employment, professional disrepute, loss of self esteem, public disgrace, severe and extreme emotional distress.
Meanwhile, the plaintiffs have urged the court to award damages in excess of twenty million US dollars against all the four defendants.