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Ihejirika Opens Up On Boko Haram War

Former Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), retired Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, has told an FCT High Court that he is not involved with terrorist sect, Boko Haram.

He rather told the court, Thursday, that he fought Boko Haram sect using his commanders in the field.

Ihejirika had sued Nduka Obaigbena, Leaders and Company Limited and Stephen Davis, an Australian, who claimed to be a hostage negotiator working for the release of Nigerian Women held hostage by the Boko Haram at Chibok, Borno, in 2014.

The former army boss is claiming N100 billion for damages from the defendants for defamation in the interview granted by Davis to Arise TV and the published in ThisDay.

He also asked for a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from further defamatory comments concerning him.

Ihejirika want the defendants to publish a full retraction and apology in the front page of ThisDay Newspaper for the said false and libelous publication.

Ihejirika, who was cross examined by counsel to the defendants, Frank Chude, said that Boko Haram are terrorists and the Nigerian Army is fighting the group.

On whether his duties as COASl is of public consumption, Ihejirika said he was a public figure and issues related to him were for public consumption.

The former COAS said he did not have personal issues with Boko Haram but fought them as terrorists.

He admitted that he had heard about the tape of the interview and his name was not mentioned.

But Ihejirika said he was the only Chief of Army Staff that retired in January 2014 as mentioned in the tape.

He also said he had never granted ThisDay Newspaper any interview but read the said publication when his attention was drawn to it.

His Counsel, A.B. Anachebe (SAN), had praised objection that his client would not answer the question by the defence if the story published in ThisDay Newspaper about Ihejirika was true.

Anachabe said that the question and false publication was the reason they were court.

Justice Valentine Ashi adjourned the case till November 2 and November 3 for continuation of cross examination and defence.

Davis granted Arise TV, interview and it was aired in Abuja and published by newspapers, including ThisDay Newspaper and media houses in 2014.

He told his interviewers that a former Chief of Army Staff who retired in January 2014, or actually sacked by the president, was a sponsor of Boko Haram.

Davis also said that he got his source from a Boko Haram senior commander who named the sponsors.


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