by Isi Esene
The Ogun State High Court sitting in Ota, on Thursday, dismissed the assault charges brought against Bishop David Oyedepo, the multi billionaire founder of the Living Faith Church International.
Justice Mobolaji Ojo, the presiding judge, while describing the applicant, Robert Igbinedion’s, applications as “lacking in merit”; added that the court cannot act on “ghost victims.”
He also ordered the Plaintiff to pay the sum of N20,000 to Bishop Oyedepo.
In his ruling, Justice Ojo said that Mr. Igbinedion, in his applications, could not prove that he attended the church service; neither did he claim he was told by someone who attended on the day the young lady was allegedly slapped.
Justice Ojo said there must be an allegation by the victim whose right was allegedly violated.
“It follows that in all cases, the owner of the identity must be available to the court. He must not be amorphous.
“Who is Miss Justice? How is she?… The court must be able to ascertain and not be left to speculate on the identity.”
“If I may ask, if this action succeeds, who is the beneficiary?” he asked rhetorically.
David Olushola, Counsel to the defendant hailed the ruling as a “watershed judgment.”
“Apparently, the matter was out to discredit a very well known man of God, just to rubbish his name that he earned by a dint of hard work.”
He added that if the Plaintiff appeals the judgement it will end up being a “walk over”.
Igbinedion said he’s however not deterred by the ruling, he said he intends to pursue to matter to the Supreme Court level.
He concluded by saying: “Tomorrow we are petitioning the police to arrest and prosecute Bishop David Oyedepo. The slap is a crime under the Nigerian law.”
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 flamboyant pastor among other reliefs.