Publication as an Essential Ingredient of Libel; Effect of Failure to Prove Same538 views
CASE TITLE: ONYEBINANMA v. COVENANTED NEWDAWN LTD (2022) LPELR-58936(CA)
JUDGMENT DATE: 24TH NOVEMBER, 2022
PRACTICE AREA: TORT
LEAD JUDGMENT: UGOCHUKWU ANTHONY OGAKWU, J.C.A.
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:
This appeal borders on the tort of libel.
This appeal emanated from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The Appellant is a Legal Practitioner. During his compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Programme, he was posted to the Respondent Company for his primary assignment. In the course of the said primary assignment, the Appellant had cause to travel outside the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT), Abuja, in order to attend the wedding ceremony of his sister in Abia State. He duly obtained the permission of the FCT State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to proceed on the journey. Upon his return, the Respondent, apparently not pleased with the Appellant having left his primary assignment to travel, wrote to the NYSC FCT State Coordinator with the request that the Appellant be reabsorbed and reposted to another establishment, which was done.
The Appellant, contending that the Respondent’s said the letter was defamatory, instituted proceedings in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The parties filed and exchanged pleadings and the matter proceeded to hear where testimonial and documentary evidence was adduced by the parties. After the final address by learned counsel for the parties, the trial Court in its judgment dismissed the Appellant’s case.
The Appellant peeved by the decision of the trial Court appealed to the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal determined the appeal based on the following issues for determination:
“1. Whether from the entire circumstances of the case, the learned trial Judge was correct when His Lordship held that the Appellant failed to present any credible and plausible evidence of publication of exhibit PW1C to a third party?
2. Whether the learned trial Judge was correct when His Lordship dismissed the Appellant’s case?”
The appeal was dismissed.
- TORT – LIBEL – Essential ingredients or elements a plaintiff must prove to succeed in an action for libel
- TORT – LIBEL: Factor to be considered in defamation or libel cases
- TORT – LIBEL: Importance of publication in libel
- JUDGMENT AND ORDER – REASON FOR JUDGMENT: Whether an appellate Court is concerned with the correctness of the decision of the Court from which the appeal it is handling has emanated and not the reasons given