The crisis rocking the Kaduna State chapter of the All Progressives Congress took a new twist on Friday as the state governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, dragged the senator representing the Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, before the state High Court.
The governor is seeking N500m damages for each of the four offences levelled against the senator, one of which is alleged defamation of character.
El-Rufai was at the state High Court to file the suit on Friday.
He said he was 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.”
The governor is seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that the “derogatory” remarks made against him by Sani was totally false and injurious to his person in the eyes of the public.
Counsel for the governor, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), while speaking with journalists, said each of the four actions attracted N500m each.
Mustapha also dismissed insinuations that the governor, by virtue of his position, did not have the constitutional right to sue any citizen.
The crisis rocking the Kaduna APC had on Monday reached a pinnacle when the state government demolished the building housing a secretariat of a faction of the party in the state.
However, the National Working Committee of the party said on Thursday that it had set up a three-member committee to look into the crisis.
Meanwhile, Sani has said that the N2bn defamation suit slammed on him by el -Rufai would not deter him from criticising the governor’s policies.
The senator stated this through his Special Adviser on Politics and Ideology, Mallam Suleiman Ahmed, in a statement on Friday.
Sani said he was prepared to face the charges levelled against him by the governor.
He noted that though he had yet to be served, his team of lawyers was well-prepared.
He added that the governor’s suit could not intimidate him.
The statement said, “The attention of the distinguished Senator Shehu Sani has been drawn to a report that the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai, has filled a civil defamation suit in the Kaduna State High Court, demanding the sum of N2bn.
“The distinguished senator has yet to be served, but our team of lawyers is ready.
“The distinguished senator is a dogged fighter, who has been through many courts and even prisons in his life of struggle, and can never be stopped or intimidated to silence by any means.
“Those who are allergic to heat should not be in the kitchen.The distinguished senator will never falter or waiver in speaking truth to power whether at local or national level.
“The senator will continue to beam the light in the dark and grey areas of our democracy. Those who are irritated by the truth simply need to get a cotton bud.”