A Federal High Court in Abuja has awarded the sum of N40 million damages against Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state and the Nigerian Police Force for illegally detaining the Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City Entertainment, Audu Maikori. Justice John Tsoho yesterday ordered the governor and the police to jointly and severally pay the sum of N10m in compensation and general damages for Maikori’s business losses while in detention and the violation of his fundamental right and personal liberty as contained in Section 35(6) of the 1999 Constitution.
El-Rufai to pay N40m for illegal detention of choc city boss, Maikori
Justice Tsoho also ordered them to pay another N10m for injury to character, self-reputation, business reputation, esteem, proper feeling of pride of the applicant, his staff, management and other international business concerns.
The judge also ordered the respondents to pay the sum of N20m for injury to health, for medical bills being incurred by the applicant in treating himself and for psychological damage, and another N1,430 as cost of the suit, including a 10% interest per annum on damages until total and final liquidation.
The Kaduna-born socialite had demanded the sum of N21 billion in the suit marked as FHC/ABJ/CS/385/17 following his prolonged detention for alleged ‘inciting’ post on his Twitter handle.
Maikori was first arrested in Lagos on February 17, 2017 and detained for 24 hours in Abuja and three days after he tweeted an alleged killing of students in Southern Kaduna by Fulani herdsmen.
But the tweet was later found to be false, which angered the governor. Maikori later apologised to the governor that he was misinformed by his driver. But he was still arrested.
The judge however held that by the false post on social media, “the applicant made himself liable to be deprived of his personal liberty,” but noted that the detention was done illegally.