Senator Shehu Sani, a lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, has sued Gov. Nasir El-Rufai Kaduna State for N5 billion in a counter-claim libel suit filed at Kaduna State High Court.
Governor El-Rufai had filed a N500 million libel suit against the Senator in February over alleged defamatory statement.
In the countersuit, the Senator said that the governor made the malicious statement against him when he was reacting to Senate’s unanimous rejection of 350 million dollars external loan request by the Kaduna State Government on during a live broadcast.
In the statement of defense and counter-claim he filed in a Kaduna High Court on April 20, Sani said he is seeking compensation for an alleged libelous broadcast maliciously made against him by the governor during a live broadcast transmitted through a radio station in Kaduna.
He is also seeking an order of perpetual injunction to restrain the plaintiff either by himself, agents, aides, privies or through any persons, from repeating the said “offensive and libelous broadcast or similar broadcast or publication’’.
The lawmaker urged the court to make an order directing the governor to tender an unreserved apology in writing to be broadcast on seven consecutive days on the same channel that the governor made “the offensive broadcast, and published in conspicuous pages of four national newspapers.”
The lawmaker pointed out that the broadcast against him, which was in the Hausa language, had affected his reputation, his political career and pitched his constituents against him.
“Sometimes in November 2017, the plaintiff, speaking at a live broadcast, transmitted on radio, maliciously, unlawfully and without any justification whatsoever, uttered defamatory statements in Hausa language. The offensive publication has continuously reduced the counter-claimants reputation, his political and social standing and popularity, which had taken years of hard work, excellence, diligence, sincerity, service to the people, forthrightness and courage to build.
"As a result of the malicious and offensive publication, the counter-claimant has suffered monumental humiliation and embarrassment and his reputation as a respectable Nigerian has been severely bruised and battered.” The lawmaker said.
He continued “The plaintiff knew and had every reason to know that the said broadcast unfairly and unjustly portrays the counter-claimant as a villain, madman of incurable insanity, among others. By reason of the foregoing, the counter-claimant has suffered humiliation, embarrassment, vilification, denigration, disparagement and agony, all of which are unquantifiable.’’
He then urged the court to dismiss the governor’s case as being “frivolous, reckless, lacking in merit, malafide and baseless altogether.’’