Saturday, 16 October, 2021

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Defamation: El-Rufai slams N1.5bn suit against Omokri, Odinkalu, others


Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has filed defamation suits against a former media aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, erstwhile Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu and other activists, demanding an aggregate sum of N1.5billion as damages.

The Kaduna State governor, in separate suits he lodged before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, said he was severely maligned in different publications that were made by the Defendants.

Other Defendants in the suit he filed through his lawyer, Mr. A.U. Mustapha, SAN, are Daniel Elombah, Elombah Communications, Barrister Joseph Onu and Auta Nyada.

In the case against Omokri, El Rufai, maintained that statements contained in a publication that was authored by the Defendant, titled: “El Rufai’s email saying southern women youth corpers are seen as whores”, which he said was carried by Thisday Newspaper on Sunday, June 14, was injurious to his reputation.

He described the article as “malicious, unwarranted and defamatory”.

The governor demanded the sum of N500million in compensation and an apology to be published in the Newspaper.

Likewise, in the suit against Odinkalu, Elombah and Elombah Communications, El Rufai, told the court that a publication titled: “Litany of 25 critics who have suffered at El Rufai’s hands compiled by Chidi Odinkalu”, which was published in Elombah.com on Wednesday September 2, was “malicious, unlawful and without any justification.”

He equally demanded the sum of N500m in damages, as well as an apology for the the article he said was defamatory and greatly injurious to reputation.

El Rufai further claimed that a letter that was written by a lawyer Joseph Onu, on August 19, titled: “Request to withdraw the offer of platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Malam Nasir El Rufai addressed to Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, SAN, in his capacity as the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) Nigerian Bar Association and copied to DR. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Chairman, Board of Trustee, Nigerian Bar Association and Mr. Olumide Akpata, the then President-Elect of the NBA and published in the media”, was defamatory and greatly injurious to his reputation.

El Rufai also demanded an apology and the sum of N500m in damages from the Defendant. Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the suits.

Credit: Vanguard

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