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Court orders El-Rufai, police to pay Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori N40m.

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Friday, awarded N40million cost against Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state and the Nigerian Police Force for illegally detaining the Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City Entertainment, Mr. Audu Maikori.

Justice John Tsoho upheld a fundamental rights enforcement suit Maikori filed before the high court.
Respondents in the suit were the Inspector General of Police; Kaduna State Commissioner of Police; Kaduna State Governor, and the Attorney General of the state.

The court directed that the resondents should pay the money to the plaintiff as compensation and general damages, jointly and severally. Maikori had in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/385/17, prayed the court to award N21billion to him as damages.

He challenged his arrest and detention by the police over a message he passed through his tweeter handle. It will be recalled that Maikori was first arrested in Lagos on February 17, 2017 and detained for 24 hours in Abuja for allegedly posting “inciting” materials on the Internet.

The plaintiff had in the said tweet, alleged that some Southern Kaduna students were killed by Fulani herdsmen. The tweet infuriated Governor El-Rufai who vowed to prosecute Maikori for peddling falsehood he said was capable of worsening the security situation in Kaduna state. However, Maikori later apologised to the governor, saying he was misinformed by his driver.

He was subsequently arrested, allegedly on the order of governor El Rufai. Dissatified with the way he was treated, the plaintiff approached the court for a redress. Out of 25 reliefs he sought before the court, only 14 were granted. In his judgment, Justice Tsoho ordered the respondents, jointly and severally, to pay the applicant the sum of N10m only as compensation for the violations of the applicant’s right to personal liberty as enunciated in Section 35(6) of the 1999 Constitution for the loss of his business earnings while in detention.

The court also ordered the respondents to pay jointly and severally, as general damages, the sum of N10m only for injury to character, self-reputation, business reputation, esteem, proper feeling of pride of the applicant, his staff? management and the applicant’s other international business concerns.

Besides, Justice Tsoho directed the respondents to pay damages in the sum of N20m only for injury to health, for medical bills being incurred by the applicant in treating himself and for psychological damage done on the applicant.

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