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Court orders NBTE boss, Prof Bugaje, others  to open defense in N1bn libel suit

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja 

The  FCT High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja has ordered the Executive secretary of the National Board for Technical Education( NBTE), Professor Idris Bugaje to open defense in a 1billon  libel suit brought against him and the Kaduna polytechnic.

Bugaje, a former rector of the institution was alleged  to have defamed the polytechnic expenditure officer, Mrs Bilkisu Sannusi.

The defendants in suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2021 are Professor M. Idris  Bugaje, Kaduna polytechnic, and the Rector, Kaduna polytechnic

Mrs Sannusi had sued the defendants over what she described as their alleged defamatory publication against her.

The applicant claimed that the defendants maliciously described her as “incompetent and corrupt” in a publication dated April 15, 2019.

She stated that the publication was made and circulated as a “vendetta” against her.

This, the applicant said, the defendants did after “they were fingered in the corrupt practices complaint”, which she claimed to have lodged against them and some of her colleagues (in the Budget office) “who conspired with them to manipulate the personnel budget of the Kaduna Polytechnic for the year 2020.”

At the resumed sitting, the plaintiff, who adopted her witness statement, testified to the fact that the 1st defendant defamed her and demanded N1 Billion damages.

However, the defendants’ counsel after cross-examined the plaintiff, argued that  some of the documents submitted by the  plaintiff were not certified and should be discarded by the court. 

Justice Hamza Mu’azu has therefore adjourned the matter to June, 28,  for the defendants to open  defence.

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