Kaduna govt defends prosecution of Odinkalu, Maikori, says incitement not freedom of speech

Kaduna govt defends prosecution of Odinkalu, Maikori, says incitement not freedom of speech

- The Kaduna state government has denied disregarding court processes

- Aisha Dikko who is the northern state's attorney-general and commissioner of justice also defended the prosecution of some individuals in the state

- Dikko reiterated that the state government respects court processes

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The Kaduna state government has denied allegations of disregarding court processes and defended its prosecution of some prominent individuals.

The northern state government is currently prosecuting Chidi Odinkalu, a former chairman of National Human Rights Commission and Audu Maikori, president of Chocolate City Entertainment,

Both individuals were accused of inciting the public against the government.

However, the state government was accused of disregarding court processes by a group of lawyers who petitioned the Nigerian Bar Association, seeking the withdrawal of the invitation of Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, as a speaker at the just concluded annual conference of the association.

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Kaduna govt defends prosecution of Odinkalu, Maikori, says incitement not freedom of speech
Kaduna govt defends prosecution of Odinkalu, Maikori, says incitement not freedom of speech. Photo credit: Nasir El-Rufai
Source: Facebook

The petitioners had accused the governor of violating human rights, citing the cases of Odinkalu and Maikori as examples of breach of rights to freedom of speech.

Defending the governor, The Cable reports that Aisha Dikko, Kaduna’s attorney-general and commissioner of justice, said in a statement on Monday, August 31, that the government has never disregarded court processes.

The attorney general argued that statements that could incite violence should not be categorised as freedom of speech.

In the case with Odinkalu, the government said on he made serious allegations on national television against the governor of Kaduna state which was capable of inciting violence.

The government consequently sued the ex-NHRC chairman for committing the offences of inciting disturbance, injurious falsehood, public nuisance and furnishing false information.

However, a counteraction filed by Odinkalu had stalled the trial before the chief magistrate court (1) in Kaduna, the government explained.

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On Luka Binniyat and Audu Maikori, she said both cases are still in court as well.

Audu Maikori was sued for claiming in a tweet that five students of the College of Education, Gidan-Waya, had been ambushed and killed by herdsmen while Binniyat was sued for publishing a news story based on the alleged false tweet.

The state government said it has also appealed the damages awarded Maikori by a Federal High Court.

The Kaduna state government reiterated that it is committed to the rule of law and respects the court process, and will not indulge conducts that could incite violence.

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In another report, Governor El-Rufai has commended Fulani and Ham leaders for not retaliating over the killing of a herder in Jaba local government area of the state.

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The governor disclosed this through the commissioner, internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan during a peace advocacy engagement at Ungwan Tunga in Nok district on Saturday, August 29.

The herder, one Usman Shehu Abdullahi was reportedly killed by unknown assailants at the outskirt of Sabzuro-Tunga Nok road on Sunday, August 23.

Meanwhile, following the withdrawal of its invitation to Governor El-Rufai, some aggrieved northern members of the NBA have pulled out of the group, alleging that the legal body is biased.

The lawyers said they have constituted a new group called New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA).

Legit.ng gathered that this is a fallout of the controversy that ensued after the NBA withdrew its invitation to Governor El-Rufai, following a petition against the governor.

In the letter, dated Friday, August 28, and signed by its conveners, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit, the new faction said the national executive council of the NBA “failed to take into consideration our national interests.

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“We are pleased to inform you of the formation of a new association of lawyers as above captioned.”

The NNBA said the processes required to set up the association are in place, adding that the AGF will be updated with developments.

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Source: Legit.ng

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