A legal practitioner, Mr Maxwell Opara, has filed a defamatory suit seeking N10 billion in damages against Twitter and the Department of State Services (DSS).
In the writ of summons marked: FCT/HC/CV/7186/23 and filed at the FCT High Court by Malachy Nwaekpe, Opara listed Twitter Nigeria Limited and Director-General (DG) of State Security Service (also known as DSS) as 1st and 2nd defendants.
The State Security Service and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice are listed as 3rd and 4th defendants respectively in the suit dated Aug. 11 and filed Aug. 14.
The lawyer filed the suit against the allegation that Twitter, now known as X, “negligently allowed the defamatory, ethnic profiling and racist comments” against him by the DSS under the leadership of its director-general on the security agency’s platform on July 18 for more than 96 hours.
Opara, who alleged that the post was caused to be published and made viral to millions of readers, described the message as “false, defamatory, demeaning, disparaging and harmful.”
He, therefore, sought eight reliefs which include “an order of this honourable court directing the 2nd and 3rd defendants (DG and DSS), jointly and severally, to issue a letter of apology on the 1st defendant’s platform twitter and a daily newspaper widely read across the federation of Nigeria.”
He sought an order of court directing the defendants to, jointly and severally, pay to the claimant the sum of N10 billion as general damages for the various defamatory, demeaning, disparaging and harmful words of the 3rd defendant under the leadership of the 2nd defendant which words were published and caused to be made viral by the 1st defendant in its twitter platform.
“An award of 10 per cent post judgment interest per annum on the entire judgment sum from the date of judgment till same is fully liquidated,” he added.
The matter was yet to be assigned to a judgment at the time of the report.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the tweet, the DSS was quoted as having written the following, “Charge and bail, overzealous uninformed IPOB/ESN lawyer Maxwell Okpara mobilises other likeminded lawyers against DGSS.
“Futile Efforts. Well, Nigerians, beware! This is in bad faith. Transferred aggression.
“A Biafran republic agitator and outlawed IPOB counsel defending the suspended CBN governor.
“Is IPOB defending one of theirs? What a contradiction, what’s the connection, may Maxwell be properly educated on points of law, please.”