The publisher of Pointblanknews.com, Mr. Jackson Ude has said that Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Marlin Sylvia, pleaded for an out-of-court settlement and did not win any case against Pointblank News in the US. He stated this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday. The statement reads “My attention has been drawn to spurious, criminal, malicious, defamatory and disparaging news report being sponsored by the Minister of State, Petroleum, Timipre Marlin Sylvia, in which he claimed victory in a United States Eastern District Court, Pennsylvania.
“Nothing can be more ridiculous than such a claim when indeed the Minister was the one who instituted a defamatory case against me, turned around to twice request for an out-of-court settlement through his attorney, used leaders in Nigeria to reach out to me to accept an out of court settlement.
“In 2021, Sylva came to the U.S court and filed a lawsuit against me for defamation. The case started in February 2022. After discoveries were conducted by attorneys for both Sylva and me. Sylva appeared for deposition via zoom and was interrogated for close to five hours in May. I was also deposed for about three hours. After the deposition, Sylva through his lawyers approached my lawyers for an out-of-court settlement”.
” The first request was denied. He came back again on July 22, 2022 and made another request. This time, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, whom I have tremendous respect for, has been reaching out to me on behalf of Sylva, requesting I accept to settle the matter out of court”
“After going through Sylva’s requests and adjustments made by my lawyers, I accepted the request in good faith and directed my attorneys to proceed with it” “Judge Hon. Joseph Leeson Jnr of the Eastern District court, thereafter, set up a settlement conference hearing for August 11, 2022. And also set September 14 as the Jury trial date if we did not reach an agreement to settle. I attended the hearing as ordered by the Judge while Sylva pleaded with the Judge to allow him to appear via zoom”.
“At the Settlement hearing, we both went through the agreements. The Magistrate Judge, Hon. Pamela Carlos supervised the process and both parties agreed and signed off the settlement agreement. No judgment was pronounced. Sylva was not pronounced winner as no trial in the case ever happened”
“In plain language, the suit did not proceed to trial or judgement stage. It was simply a settlement out of court which Sylva, not me, sought”.
“It is, therefore, a violation of the Judge’s order for Sylva to sponsor defamatory, malicious and disparaging publications against my person and that of Pointblanknews.com in other to whitewash himself. In due course, he would return to the U.S court to explain his actions”.
“The amateur attempt to hoodwink the public and spread lies are some of the instruments politicians have employed to deceive Nigerians. Again, Timipre Sylva never won any defamatory case. How can you be a winner in a case that never went to trial? Otherwise, Sylva should show to the public a judgement he obtained from the U.S Court declaring him the winner. It is pure lies from the pit of hell” Ude sounded with a note of finality.