By Ben Ezeamalu
(Premium Times) – Justice Ojo of the Ogun State High Court sitting in Ota has struck out the N2billion suit slammed on the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, for slapping a young lady during a church service in 2009.
Robert Igbinedion, a Lagos based lawyer who filed the suit on behalf of the young lady, had asked the court to award N2billion as ‘general and exemplary damages’ against the pastor among other reliefs.
But delivering judgment Thursday morning, Justice Ojo struck out the case, saying the application lacked merit on many grounds.
He said the girl, who was allegedly slapped, remained a ghost victim and that the applicant failed to prove that he attended the service where the girl was allegedly slapped and .
Oyedepo was named the richest pastor in Nigeria last year by Forbes magazine with an estimated worth of over N20billion.
During the hearing of the case, Dele Adesina, counsel to Bishop Oyedepo, had complained to the court that they did not have a photograph and the video where the Bishop slapped the young lady.
Mr. Adesina had argued that there was nothing to show that the young lady who was slapped in the video – who had been dubbed ‘Miss Justice’ in the course of the suit – is a living person.
“There is nothing to show in the application that ‘Miss Justice’ is a living and existing person entitled to claim under the provisions of the 1999 Constitution,” Mr. Adesina said.
“We humbly submit that ‘Miss Justice’ is a fictitious person, not capable of being represented in court.
“For the applicant to establish that he is suing on behalf of another person, that person must be determinable and identifiable,” he added.
On his part, Mr. Igbinedion asked the court to grant him all his reliefs since the respondents, in denying that the young lady was slapped, had failed to help the court arrive at justice.
“The respondents rather chose to lay their defence on all imaginable legal technicalities without attacking or denying the several damaging allegations,” said Mr. Igbinedion.
More to come…