A Lagos High Court, Igbosere, on Tuesday adjourned a N500 million libel suit against Google Incorporation, for hearing of motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter
The libel suit was filed by Nicholas Okoye, Chairman, Anabel Group, against Ladun Liadi, a blogger, over an alleged libelous publication on Google, an Internet search engine.
Also joined as defendants in the case are Google Incorporated and Google Nigeria- accused of improper editorial censorship of the publication
Justice Adedayo Oyebanji adjourned the case till October 9, following the defence’ service of the two processes out of time.
The two applications are a motion challenging the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the suit and a prayer to strike out the name of the third defendant, Google Nigeria, from the suit.
At the resumed hearing, counsel to the claimant, Emeka Okwosa, had told the court that the defence had served him the processes but out of time as stipulated by law
“The matter is for hearing of the second defendant’s preliminary objection, which had been served with two other processes but out of time,” he said.
Emmanuel Gbahabo, the counsel to Google, admitted that the processes were served out of time. He, however, told the court that the claimant had not sufficiently demonstrated that the libelous statements had been downloaded within the jurisdiction of the court.
At the last hearing, counsel to the claimant, Mr. Okwosa, had filed an application for interlocutory injunction to prevent the defendants from further publication of the libelous documents till judgment was passed.
A.H. Enakhifo, counsel to Ms. Liadi, had said that his client had complied and there was no evidence that the libelous publication had been downloaded.
“My clients have complied and up to this moment, there is still nothing to show that the libelous publication had been downloaded,” he said.