The Court today 15th May, 2017 has passed judgement in favour of Barr Gloria Mabeiam Ballason against the Kaduna State Governor Nasiru El-rufai.
The High Court 9 presided by Hon. Justice Esther Lolo delivered judgment in the case of Gloria Mabeiam V. The Governor of Kaduna State suit nos KDH/KAD/164/17.
The case which was first mentioned on 1st May, 2017 was filed by the Applicant’s Lagos-based lawyers Messrs Mathew Burkaa & Co. Several prominent lawyers numbering 36 had equally formed the Applicant’s team including foremost Human Rights Lawyer, Festus Okoye Esq, the Chairman NBA Kaduna Branch, Ndasule Sherrif Esq, B.L. Aliyu Esq, Reuben James Esq (Former 3rd National V.P of the NBA), Mark Jacob (Former Attorney General of Kaduna State), Timothy Kambai Esq, Mike Nwakanma Esq, Sule Shuibu Esq, James Kanyip Esq, M.T. Mohammed Esq, Bavo nyan Esq et al.
Mallam Nasir El-rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State had threatened to arrest and prosecute Gloria for her civic activities including an article she wrote on 28th November,2016 in her column in the Blueprint Newspaper. The threat was issued on 17th January,2017 by the Governor at the Kaduna State Government House when the President of the Nigerian Bar, A.B Mahmud SAN and his team including the Applicant paid an official visit to the Governor.
Justice Lolo found contrary to the Governor’s denial that indeed a threat had been issued ‘…which would put any reasonable person who understands the authority of a Governor in fear’. The Court found that there was a likelihood of a breach of Right to life under section 33, there has been an infringement of the dignity of the Applicant under section 34, there was a breach to the Right of freedom of expression and the Press under section 39 of the constitution. The Court found that the article was also not injurious and ordered the Governor not to arrest the Applicant on the basis of same. Damages was awarded in the sum of N50,000 and N10,000 was awarded as the cost of suit. The outcome of the case has left many jubilant as the case of violations by the Government has been rampant.