The crisis rocking Kaduna state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took another dimension yesterday when Governor Nasir el-Rufai slammed a N2 billion defamation suit against Senator Shehu Sani representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
El-Rufai in a suit filed before a Kaduna High Court, demands N500 million damages on each of the four charges preferred against Sani over alleged defamation of character.
The governor, who personally filed the suit, is seeking compensation for the injury allegedly suffered as a result of “the malicious statements made by Sani through the mass media” to “humiliate” him and “defame” his integrity by calling him “a drunk, loose cannon and an embarrassment to President Muhammadu Buhari”.
Among other reliefs, el-Rufai is seeking a declaration that the derogatory remarks made against him by Sani are totally false and injurious to his person in the “eyes” of the public.
Addressing reporters at the court premises, counsel to the governor, AbdulHakeem Mustapha, SAN, dismissed insinuations that the governor by virtue of his position does not have the constitutional right to sue any citizen.
The ruling party has suffered various crises in Kaduna state having been split into Akida, Restoration Group and Government House camp.
But in his reaction, the lawmaker said he cannot be intimated by such move as he has ‘endured’ and ‘overcame’ several of such actions by the governor.
In a statement by his Special Adviser (Political) on Friday, Sani said nothing can stop him from expressing his opinion.
The statement reads, “The attention of the distinguished Senator Shehu Sani has been drawn to a report that the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufai, has filed a civil defamation suit in the Kaduna State High court demanding N2 billion.
“The distinguished senator is yet to be served but our team of lawyers are ready and well prepared. The distinguished senator wishes to assure all his supporters and well-wishers that nothing and absolutely nothing can stop him from expressing his opinion on either Kaduna State or national issues.”
Sani also vowed to forge ahead in the fight against the governor, saying he had gone through worse battles.