COURT OF APPEAL AFFIRMS THAT KADUNA STATE GOVERNMENT VIOLATED THE RIGHTS OF LAWYER AND ENTREPRENEUR, AUDU MAIKORI, WHEN THEY ARRANGED TO HAVE HIM ABDUCTED FROM LAGOS IN FEBRUARY 2017
ABUJA, 05 JUNE 2020: The Court of Appeal today affirmed the judgment of Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, finding that the Government of Kaduna State violated the constitutional rights of Audu Maikori, when they arranged to abduct him from his residence in Lagos to Kaduna in February 2017 on the orders of the Kaduna State Governor, Ahmad El-Rufai.
Audu Maikori is a lawyer and entrepreneur from Southern Kaduna and Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City, a pioneering investor in the development of the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria.
The Government of Kaduna State organized the abduction of Audu Maikori in 2017 for what it claimed were factual inaccuracies in a social media post by Audu concerning the killings in Southern Kaduna. Those killings have got worse since then and the perpetrators have continued to escape justice.
In a judgment delivered today in Abuja, a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the Federal High Court, holding that the actions of the Kaduna State Government were both unlawful and unconstitutional. The Court, however, reduced the damages awarded from N40 million to N10.5 million Naira.
Responding to the judgment, his lead counsel, Gloria Mabeiam Ballason, said: “This decision by the Court of Appeal is important for the protection of all persons in Nigeria. By today’s judgment, the Court of Appeal reaffirms the sanctity of the rights of citizens against abuse by the designs of temporal power and makes clear that politicians in government using security agencies at their disposal cannot pick and choose what parts of the constitution to obey or observe.
Mivelegals is a Public Interest Law Centre based in Kaduna and counsel to Audu Maikori.