Former Governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili, has sued the former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, for allegedly defaming him in a new book he co-authoured.
The book titled “Too Good To Die: Third Term and the Myth of the Indispensable Man in Africa” which was written by Odinkalu and Ayisha Osori, tried to unravel what led to the failure of the notorious third term agenda of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
But Odili, in the suit filed by his lawyer, Kanu Agabi, said the book have earned him public ridicule and scorn. He said that as a recipient of numerous local and international awards, there was no way he could have been involved in the numerous crimes Odinkalu and Osori accused him of in their book.
For instance, the book narrated the story of the late Harry Marshal, a politician that was assassinated shortly after he fell out with Odili. The book cited a letter that Marshal wrote to the police at the time to report the many violent attacks against his party, the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP). Marshal, in the letter, said that the attackers were thugs loyal to Odili and were being supported by the police.
The book also claimed that the bulk of the funds which Obasanjo used to canvass for his failed third term bid were supplied by Odili and Adamu Muazu, who at the time were the Governors of Rivers and Bauchi States respectively.
Odili demanded that Odinkalu and Osori pay him N1 billion in damages, as well as a published apology and an end to further publication of copies of the book.
When contacted, Odinkalu said he could not react to the development as he was not aware of the suit.
Osori and Odinkalu are currently working with the Open Society Initiative West Africa (OSIWA) as the Executive Director and Senior Legal Officer respectively.