A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and three others to pay N40 million as damages to the president of Chocolate City Group, Audu Maikori.
Justice John Tsoho awarded the costs as compensation for what he ruled as Mr. Maikori’s unlawful arrest and detention between February 17 and 18, and between March 10 and 13.
The judge was delivering judgement in the fundamental human rights enforcement suit filed by Mr. Maikori on May 5.
Other respondents in Mr. Maikori’s suit are the Inspector-General of Police, the Commissioner of Police in Kaduna state, and the state’s Attorney-General.
The court also ordered the respondents to “pay jointly and severally, as general damages, the sum of N10 million only for injury to character, self-reputation, business reputation, esteem, proper feeling of pride of the applicant, his staff, management and the applicant’s other international business concerns”.
Aside from that, Justice Tsoho also directed the respondents to pay damages in the sum of N20 million only for injury to health, for medical bills being incurred by the applicant in treating himself and for psychological damage done on the applicant.
He further awarded N1,430 as cost of the suit, as well as, 10% interest per annum on damages until total and final liquidation of same.
He, however, noted that his verdict does not preclude the ongoing trial of Mr. Maikori in Kaduna, adding that the police could justifiably arrest suspects for allegedly breaking the law in the cyberspace.
The judge, however, noted that following the tweet, Mr. Maikori made himself liable to be arrested even though he realized that he was misinformed by his driver.