Court hears suit between MARKETING EDGE, NIMN’s President May 27

Justice Taiwo Olatokun of an Ikeja High Court has fixed 27 May for the trial of a suit filed by MARKETING EDGE Publications Limited against the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN), following alleged threat and harassment arising from one of its publications.

The 2nd defendant in suit number ID/10977GCMN/2024 through the company’s lawyer, Felix Akinsola is the President of the institute, Idorenyen Enang.

The claimant is praying the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant and all its officers, allies from further threat and harassment of any form either through the use of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) or any other security agencies.

The claimant is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant, its officers, and other persons acting for and on behalf of the defendants from continued publication of the libelous publication or any other publication to the like effect.

It also included an order of perpetual injunction restraining the 2nd defendant either by himself. His officers, any person acting for and on his behalf or through any office he may occupy, either now or at any time in future, from further threat and harassment of any form and from publishing and or making libelous and defamatory statements towards the claimant and or any person, natural or non-natural associated with it.

The claimant prayed the court for, among others damages in the sum of N20 million being damages for assault on its reputation, a reduction in the esteem of right thinking members of the society and damaging utterances by the defendant against the claimant, a retraction in its entirety of the public notice made by the Institute of Marketing of Nigeria in the Punch Newspaper of Friday 24th November, 2023.

The claimant also seeks a robust apology by the institute in four national dailies stating unequivocally that the claimant is not in breach of any laws in its ordinary course of business, that the claimant is well within its right to carry on its business, that the general public, companies, corporations and individuals are free to relate and contract with the claimant without hesitation and or fear of any kind; and that the claimant is an upstanding and respected corporate body carrying on business within the ambit of its objectives.

The claimant, in its 36-point statement of claim, averred that it is clear that the institute has embarked on a witch hunt with a fierce determination to undermine the efforts and reputation of the claimant with the sinister intention of running down the business of the claimant through toxic and malicious publications.

The claimant averred that except the court restraints the defendants, they would continue to spread these libelous and damaging publications which has occasioned grievous harm to the finance, reputation, business and the standing of the claimant,

He averred that despite exchange of correspondents between itself and the defendants, they still went ahead to file a petition with the police alleging a criminal breach of its statutory powers and naming the claimants and the claimants’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and a number of the claimants’ affiliates in the said petition, the police has refused to oblige the claimant with a copy of the petition. The defendants are put on notice to produce the original at the trial.

The claimant averred that its publishing and organization of awards is based on a merit system that it has originally curated and cannot in any way, shape or form, or be construed as a regulation and control the practice of marketing in Nigeria and has nothing to do with marketing or its institute‘s control and regulation

It averred that though it is not a member of the defendant’s institute, its annual published listicle has gained renown, acceptance and general acclamation for its meritorious approach to awarding excellence to various brand icons, a reputation that has garnered it the moniker: “Best Marketing Magazine”

It further averred: “for its authoritative and well researched news reports, regular special reports and general industry news and stories across the Nigerian Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC), the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, under the leadership of its past President, Chief Lugard Aieniewu of blessed memory, actually recognized the claimant as the best marketing magazine for two consecutive years.”

It averred that the 2nd defendant deliberately and out of malice orchestrated falsehood and malicious libelous publication to spite the claimant and to bring down its business, adding that having failed woefully to galvanize the Nigerian Marketing community through value-adding services and connect positively with both registered and non-registered marketing professionals in Nigeria, has been looking for a way to bring down the claimant’s business to pave way for his own relevance.

It submitted that the words employed by the NIMN in its publication means and it is so understood to mean by those that received the publication that the claimant is an impostor who is deliberately deceiving the general public and flagrantly disobeys the law, has no regard and or respect for constituted authority, and has ultimately called into question every action carried out by it.

The claimant averred that the publication by the NIMN has undermined the years of painstaking work it has put in, and in the same vein, is diminishing the spotless reputation garnered by the claimant over copious years of the proverbial sweat, blood and tears. It added that the publication by the institute has also diminished the claimant in the estimation of right thinking members of the society, discredited it in its profession, injured its financial credit and exposed it to ridicule and contempt


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