The previously seized copies of “My Watch,” former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s autobiography, has been released by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). This was announced on Thursday by NCS Comptroller-General, Dikko Abdullahi.
He explained that the container carrying the books was released pursuant to a recent court order lifting the ban against its distribution.
“Customs got the initial order of the court to stop the container and now that the court asks us to release the container, so be it,”he said while speaking to journalists at the commissioning of two new patrol boats in Lagos.
The order stopping the release of the book was made on Tuesday, April 14, by Justice Valentine Ashi of an Abuja High Court. In December 2014, the former president was stopped from printing, publishing or distributing the books due to a libel suit brought against him by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Buruji Kashamu.
“Customs got the initial order of the court to stop the container and now that the court asks us to release the container, so be it,” he said.
Ashi, in his ruling, upheld the argument by Obasanjo’s counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), that the court was misled into granting the orders on Dec. 5 and Dec.10, 2014. The court had granted the order restraining Obasanjo from publishing the book pending the determination of the suit against him by Kashamu.
But the former president still proceeded to launch the book on December 9 in Lagos, despite the court order of Dec. 5, a development which prompted the court to make the second order on Dec. 10.