Gov El-Rufai to donate N10 million awarded from defamation case to charity

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Gov El-Rufai to donate N10 million awarded from defamation case to charity

A High Court in Kaduna has ordered that publishers of the defunct Union Newspapers should tender an apology and also pay the sum of N10 million for publishing a false story against Kaduna State Governor about five-years ago.

El-Rufai approached the Court in 2015 after the defunct Union Newspapers published a story about the Governor’s asset declaration.

The Governor, in a Suit No KD/KDH/285/15, wanted the court to rule that a publication by the newspaper claiming that El-Rufai declared N90 billion cash and 40 mansions are false and this has defamed him.

Justice ML Muhammad of the Kaduna State High Court, who delivered judgment on the case on Monday, ordered the defendants to pay El-Rufai a sum of N10 million as damages and tender an apology in National Newspapers. Counsel to the Governor, AU Mustapha SAN, welcomed the judgement as a well-considered one.

The Governor also welcomed the judgement, as a clear statement that the freedom to publish is not a license to defame people or engage in rumour-mongering and malice as journalism. People should always seek their rights in the Court of law. The Court hailed that the plaintiff had clinically demonstrated through their pleadings and evidence led in support that he never declared assets worth N90 billion nor 40 mansions.

The Court reiterated that the plaintiff had proven the ingredients of defamation to wit; the publication of offending words, that the words referred to the Plaintiff are defamatory.

The court further referred to the testimony of the first defence witness which was replete with admissions and held that the defendants had failed to prove the defences of justification, fair comment and qualified privilege.

Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai has already announced that the N10 million that will be paid to him as damages will be donated to charity.

Gov El-Rufai to donate N10 million awarded from defamation case to charity

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