Human rights lawyer Emmanuel Ogebe, a torn in the flesh of Muhammadu Buhari for his abysmal leadership, has won his argument at the United States Appeal Court for the 4th District in his defamation lawsuit against the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
The ruling on 23 January came two weeks after an Abuja High Court dismissed two motions by federal Attorney General Abubakar Malami seeking to terminate Ogebe’s defamation lawsuit against the federal government over his sponsorship of Chibok girls to the US.
Ogebe sued WSJ for defamation in 2018 alleging it had been procured by the Buhari regime to tarnish his image over the Chibok girls he sponsored to the US in exchange for special access.
During the trial, WSJ journalists and co-Defendants Drew Hinshaw and Joe Parkinson, published a book on the Chibok abductions.
After Covid disruption of the case, the US District Court dismissed the case, alleging Ogebe had not filed a response to a Motion to Dismiss.
Ogebe appealed to the Court of Appeal claiming the lower court had been serially incompetent, inconsistent and out of touch with procedure and evidence in the case.
In its verdict, the Court of Appeal declined to delve into the merits of the substantive case but noted the US District Court for Eastern Virginia had indeed omitted several key procedural elements.
The Appeal Court vacated the judgment of the lower court and remanded it back for proper hearing.
“This is a very significant victory for us. The very fact that the Appeal Court agreed to overturn the judgment of the lower court without asking us to argue the appeal is instructive of how bad the lower court was.
“As the court rightly stated in its brief opinion, the facts were very clear from the appellate briefs filed and needed no further argument,” Ogebe said in his reaction to the ruling.
American con-man hired by Buhari
“Ironically, the American con-man the Buhari regime used for this Wall Street Journal hit-piece, Doug Wead, was buried a year ago this month. Lies are sprinters but the truth is a marathoner,” Ogebe said.
“Aisha Alhassan in the Nigerian defamation suit has also died but regardless, they and their living accomplices will face justice divine or human.”
This is the second legal victory for Ogebe this year, coming after the courting ruling in Abuja two weeks ago.
“Once this US case finally proceeds, the world will ultimately see how a corrupt Nigerian government conspired with unprincipled journalists in America to sabotage a humanitarian for politics and for profit,” Ogebe added.
“The lies are so blatant and obvious that this will be a textbook case on journalistic unprofessionalism and media malpractice by a supposedly top American newspaper.”