Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has vowed to challenge Friday’s Federal High Court ruling which awarded up to N40 million in damages to the President of Chocolate City Group, Audu Maikori, in a fundamental rights suit.
Yesterday, the court sitting in Abuja, in its judgment, mandated the Kaduna state governor and the police to pay Maikori the sum of N40m.
The money was awarded as compensation for the unlawful arrest and detention of Maikori between February 17 and 18, 2017 and again March 10 and 13, 2017.
Delivering judgement in the fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Maikori on May 5, 2017, Justice John Tsoho ordered the four respondents including to pay the damages to the applicant.
The respondents to the suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State, the Governor of Kaduna State and the Attorney-General of Kaduna State.
Reacting to this, on Friday evening, Mr. El-Rufai said the matter would be appealed in the Supreme Court, adding that neither him nor the Nigerian police had erred in the arrest and detention of the music entrepreneur.
In a statement issued through his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, the governor said the court judgment won’t truncate an ongoing criminal proceeding he earlier caused the police to file against Mr. Maikori.
“The judgment will not stop this criminal trial. There is no malicious prosecution going on.”
“The state government can file complaints, but it is the business of the police to make arrests following the normal procedures.
“Our lawyers will study the judgement and take the appropriate steps. We will appeal up to the Supreme Court if necessary,” he said.
Maikori was arrested in Lagos on February 17, on allegations of posting “inciting” tweets alleging the killing of some Southern Kaduna students by Fulani herdsmen.