A Kaduna High Court has dismissed Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s lawsuit for libel and defamation against former senator Shehu Sani, who represented the Kaduna Central senatorial district, dealing what is perceived as a significant legal setback to the former governor of Kaduna State.
The trial judge, Justice H. Balogun, dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that it was an abuse of the legal system.
El-Rufai has already filed numerous lawsuits in Kaduna State before various courts for the same cause of action, which served as the foundation for Justice Balogun’s decision.
Defence attorney Barr. Kimi Livingstone Appah originally objected to the court’s jurisdiction to hear the matter in a notice of preliminary objection.
The identical case had been filed in four distinct state courts, which constituted an abuse of the legal system and was the basis for this objection.
In a press conference after the Kaduna High Court dismissed El-Rufai’s lawsuit, Appah hailed the decision as a triumph for democracy and the right to free speech.
He emphasised the value of maintaining the integrity of the court system and how the court had respected the norms of judicial economy.
You may remember that El-Rufai initially sued Shehu Sani for N2 billion in 2018, requesting compensation for purported damages brought on by Sani’s “statements.”
El-Rufai accused former Senator Shehu Sani of defaming him by calling him a “drunk, loose cannon, and an embarrassment to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The two politicians’ tense relationship has been well documented, and their political disagreements frequently result in argumentative outbursts.
Sani has maintained that his criticisms of El-Rufai were based on his sincere concerns about the former governor’s policies and behaviour, notwithstanding El-Rufai’s accusations that Sani made false and defamatory allegations about him.