By Innocent Anaba
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the judgment of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which held that the Kaduna State Government violated the rights of Audu Maikori, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Chocolate City, who was abducted from his residence in Lagos to Kaduna in February 2017 on the orders of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to face charges.
Maikori is a lawyer and entrepreneur from Southern Kaduna and is a pioneering investor in the development of the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria.
It will be recalled that the Kaduna State Government organised to abduct Maikori in 2017 over what it claimed were factual inaccuracies in a social media post by Audu Maikori on the killings in Southern Kaduna.
The killings have got worse since then and the perpetrators have continued to escape justice.
In a judgment delivered, yesterday, in Abuja, a three-person 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.
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The court, however, reduced the damages awarded from N40 million to N10.5 million.
Meanwhile, reacting to the judgment, his counsel, Gloria 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.”