The Court of Appeal, Abuja at the weekend affirmed the judgment of Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, finding that the Kaduna State government violated the constitutional rights of a lawyer, Audu Maikori, by when they arranged to abducting him from his residence in Lagos to Kaduna in February 2017 on the orders of Governor Nasir El-Rufai. The court awarded damages of N10.5 million in favour of the lawyer.
Audu Maikori, an indigene of Southern Kaduna is also an entrepreneur, and Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Chocolate City, a pioneering investor in the development of the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria.
The Government of Kaduna State organized to abduct Audu Maikori in 2017 for what it claimed were factual inaccuracies in a social media post by Audu concerning the killings in Southern Kaduna. Those killings have got worse since then and the perpetrators have continued to escape justice.
In a judgment delivered today in Abuja, a three-person panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the findings and decision of the Federal High Court, holding that the actions of the Kaduna State Government were both unlawful and unconstitutional. The Court, however, reduced the damages awarded from N40 million to N10.5 million Naira.
Responding to the judgment, his lead counsel, Gloria Ballason, said:
“This decision by the Court of Appeal is important for the protection of all persons in Nigeria. By today’s judgment, the Court of Appeal reaffirms the sanctity of the rights of citizens against abuse by the designs of temporal power and makes clear that politicians in government using security agencies at their disposal cannot pick and choose what parts of the constitution to obey or observe.”