The Court of Appeal in Abuja has ruled that the Kaduna state government led by Nasir El-rufiai violated the rights of Nigerian Lawyer and president of Chocolate city group, Audu Maikori when they abducted him from Lagos to Kaduna in 2017.
The Court also awarded damages at N10.5m in favour of Chocolate city group boss.
A Federal High Court had earlier ordered the Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai, and three others to pay N40 million as damages over unlawful arrest and detention of Maikori.
But, the state government challenged the judgement of the Federal High Court.
The Appeal Court, however in its judgement today, ordered the respondent to the case to pay Maikori N10.5 for damages.
Maikori was arrested on February 17 and 18, and between March 10 and 13 by policemen attached to the inspector-general’s monitoring and intelligence team, over ‘inciting comments’ he made on social media on Southern Kaduna killings.
In a series of tweets on January 23, he alleged that five students of Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kafanchan, were murdered by Fulani herdsmen.
“My driver’s younger brother and five others students of College of Education, Gidan Waya, were ambushed and killed by herdsmen yesterday #SouthernKaduna,” he said in one of the tweets.
Audu, El-Rufai said at the Social Media Week 2017 on March 2, was informed about the untrue nature of his posts but still doubled down on them.
“He posted fake pictures of Boko Haram attacks, the Rwandan genocide, as Southern Kaduna killings. It is totally irresponsible to do that.”
Maikori later apologised for the wrong information contained in his tweets, claiming that he was misled by his driver, who himself was an indigene of Southern Kaduna.
While insisting that he had no personal grouse against Audu, the governor noted that prosecuting him would serve as a deterrent to people who spread untrue information on social media and would help rein in the scourge of fake news.
He said, “It is not personal. I have nothing against him. In fact, he has worked with the state government in the past. But I’m not going to sit as the governor of Kaduna state and allow anyone to post or tweet anything that leads to loss of lives without consequences.”