Defamation: El-Rufai welcomes judgment



Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has noted that his victory at High Court is a clear statement that freedom to publish is not a license to defame people or clothe rumour-mongering and malice as journalism.

governor further noted that ‘’beyond damages awarded and apology ordered by the court, this judgment reaffirms the primacy of facts and appropriate verification in responsible journalism.’’

In a statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye on Monday in reaction to verdict, El-Rufai said that he will donate ‘’ N10m damages awarded by court to the Kaduna State Disability Trust Fund.’’

statement added that ‘’by approaching and personally testifying in case, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has further demonstrated his belief in rule of law, a stance he has taken in previous cases, securing apologies and retractions from other newspapers for libel.’’

Adekeye said that governor thanks his team of lawyers, led by A.U. Mustapha (SAN), for their diligent pursuit of the matter.

The Special Adviser recalled that ‘’in July 2015, less than two months into his tenure as governor of Kaduna State, The Union newspaper published a false story on his asset declaration.

‘’The reporter who filed the story based his outlandish claims on nothing more than rumour and a sense of impunity, an expectation that victims of defamation would resort to negotiation with and reward those who seek to besmirch their reputation,’’ he added.

The statement recalled that El Rufai ‘’swiftly issued a statement to debunk the story the very day it was published and affirmed his intention to approach the court for redress.

According to Adekeye, Justice M.L. Muhammed delivered judgment in the case yesterday, 1 November 2021, six years after the case was filed.