Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has filed a three-pronged defamation lawsuit totalling N1.5 billion against three personalities – Reno Omokri, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s ex-media aide; Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Joseph Onu who wrote a letter that caused the Nigerian Bar Asociation (NBA) for disinviting him to the NBA 2020 Conference.
The governor through his lawyer Abdulhakeem Mustapha filed the suits separately before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Joined as defendants are ThisDay newspaper, Daniel Elombah, Elombah Communications, Joseph Onu and Auta Nyada.
In one of the suits, El-Rufai claimed that statements by Omokri published in ThisDay on June 14, 2020 titled “El Rufai’s email saying southern women youth corpers are seen as whores” was injurious to his reputation.
He asked the court to grant him damages of N500 million and an apology to be published in the newspaper.
El-Rufai in the other suit claimed a publication made by Odinkalu on September 2, 2020, in Elombah.com with the title “Litany of 25 critics who have suffered at El Rufai’s hands compiled by Chidi Odinkalu” was “malicious, unlawful and without any justification.”
He is equally seeking N500 million in damages and apology.
The governor also asked the court to grant him N500 million in damages over a “defamatory and greatly injurious” letter written by Joseph Onu and dated August 19, 2020, asking the Nigerian Bar Association to withdraw him (El-Rufai) from the list of speakers at its 2020 conference.