By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai has filed defamation lawsuits against a former media aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu and other activists, demanding a total sum of N1. 5 billion as damages.
The governor of the state of Kaduna, in separate lawsuits that he filed with the Superior Court of the Federal Capital Territory, said that he was severely defamed in different publications that were made by the Defendants.
Other Defendants in the lawsuit that he filed through his attorney, 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 the statements contained in a publication by the defendant, entitled: “The email from El Rufai that says young women from the south are seen as whores,” which he said was released by Thisday newspaper, June 14, was damaging to his reputation.
He described the article as “malicious, unjustified and defamatory.”
The governor demanded the sum of N500 million in compensation and an apology to be published in the newspaper.
Also, in the lawsuit against Odinkalu, Elombah and Elombah Communications, El Rufai told the court that a publication entitled: “Litany of 25 critics who have suffered at the hands of El Rufai compiled by Chidi Odinkalu”, which was published on Elombah.com on On Wednesday, September 2, it was “malicious, illegal and without any justification.”
He also demanded the sum of N500m in damages, as well as an apology for the article that he said was defamatory and highly damaging to reputation.
The Rufai further stated that a letter that was written by a lawyer Joseph Onu, on August 19, entitled: “Request to withdraw platform offer at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), was addressed to Malam Nasir El Rufai to Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, SAN, in his capacity as Chairman of the Technical Committee for Conference Planning (TCCP) of the Nigerian Bar Association and with a copy to DR. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Nigerian Bar Association and Mr. Olumide Akpata, then President Elect of the NBA and published in the media ”, was defamatory and very damaging to his reputation.
The Rufai also demanded an apology and the sum of N500m in damages from the defendant.
Meanwhile, no date has been set for the hearing of the lawsuits.