Lutheran Church National President Faces N500m suit in court
Information reaching us that, All is not well in the fold of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria as the duo of its former National President, Revd. Dr. Samuel Joshua Udofia and the successor, Most Revd. Christian Okon Ekong are locked in a legal battle.
The case filed at the High Court of Akwa Ibom State, with registration number HU/6/2021, is dated January 7, 2021. It is filed by the former National President, Revd. Dr. Samuel Joshua Udofia against the current National President, Most Revd. Christian Okon Ekong.
Revd. Udofia, according to a Write of Summons sighted is disputing the national President’s claim that he defrauded the church.
Udofia, the plaintiff, alleged that during the 41st Regular Council of the church held between November 27 and November 29, 2020, the national president circulated a publication containing the “offensive allegation.”
Furthermore, paragraph 17 of the plaintiff’s statement of claim, noted that “in consequence of the attack on his character, craftily launched by the defendant against him, he has also lost financial credit and worth as he is no longer enjoying honorarium and other favors which usually come from members of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria.”
“He has also lost all the accolades that accompany his person, first as a clergy and second as past national president of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria and a Registered Trustee of the church,” he added.
He described Ekong’s allegation against him as “false, baseless and malicious with clear intent and motive to denigrate and bring him into opprobrium and public ridicule.”
His Statement of Claim indicates that the defendant had refused to honor an earlier demand for apology and retraction of the “libelous publication.”
Revd. Udofia, however, claimed that the defendant is “picking an offense on him because he is in court to testify to the truth about the amendment of the constitution as a Registered Trustee and past National President of the church.” He also complained that Revd. Ekong has inordinately withheld his monthly pension for over two years.
Lutheran Church of Nigeria Archbishop Christian Ekong. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay National President
Lutheran Church of Nigeria Archbishop Christian Ekong. Photo: LWF/S. Gallay
The plaintiff is praying the court to award 500 million Naira against the defendant as damages caused by the “libelous publication.”
The defendant could not be reached to comment on the matter. Calls and text messages sent to him were not acknowledged.
Meanwhile, the case has been assigned to the State High Court 10 in Uyo Judicial Division.