The Kano State High Court on Tuesday fined Kano governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje N800,000 for renouncing his defamation suit against the online publication Daily Nigerian.
He had taken Ja’afar Ja’afar to court over a story and video in which he was purportedly seen stuffing foreign currencies in his pocket.
Nevertheless, the court, presided over by Justice Suleiman Danmallan, who granted the governor’s request to discontinue the case, ordered him to pay N400,000 to Ja’afar and the parent company of the newspaper, both defendants in the case.
Both defendants’ attorneys, Ubi Eteng and Muhammad Danazumi, had asked the court to award a total of N400million as costs of discontinuing the suit. However, Ganduje’s attorney, O.E.B. Offiong (SAN) requested the court to disregard the prayers, noting that since the defendants had informed the court that they had filed a counter-claim, issue of cost should be delayed till then.
In a counter-claim filed by Ja’afar, a copy of which was seen by Daily Trust, the publisher asked the court to declare the governor’s case “baseless, vexatious, and of no merit.”.
A court will also declare that the plaintiff’s deployment of thugs, politicians, and school children in Kano State House of Assembly grounds, chanting slogans and insulting the defendant, is unwarranted, uncalled for, immoral, and defamatory.”
Following that, he asked the court to direct the governor “to issue a public apology to the 1st defendant in at least two national daily newspapers for filing a baseless case against him.”
Ja’afar also requested an order of perpetual injunction restraining the plaintiff, his agents, representatives, privies, or anyone whatsoever from filing any frivolous action against him (Ja’afar).
The judge has, however, directed that a date be set for hearing the counter-claim once the parties are ready.