Lawmaker drags Gov. Ishaku to court, demands N40B damages

By Suru Charles

Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku of Taraba state has been dragged to court by the member representing Wukari/Ibi federal constituency, Danjuma Usman Shiddi, over alleged defamation of character.

The lawmaker who is not only demanding a whopping sum of N40 Billion as damages, also wants the court to compel the governor to tender an apology for the libellous publications.

It would be recalled that Shiddi who also doubled as the House committee chairman on Internal security was recently accused by the governor of being a gunrunner.

Not comfortable with the statement, the member filed a suit before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory. He said he was “severely maligned and dragged to odium in different publications that were made by the defendants which were malicious, unlawful and without any justification”

The member who made this known in a statement made available to media men in Jalingo, said “We would satisfactorily show the Court that neither my agents, privies, political associates nor I was involved in any sort of arms and ammunition deal nor was anyone connected to me was ever arrested in relation to the said issue.”

Determine to tread extra legitimate miles in his quest to demand justice, he argued that “there’s no iota of evidence establishing a prima facie case against me, the implication of which is that the words were false, lacks justification and thus defamatory of my person and has ridiculed me, lower my estimation in the eyes of the right thinking public and has dragged my name to odium.”

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“I have as well considered suit, confident that it will end in a well-considered decision replete with industry, reason and erudition aimed at serving the interest of justice and in consonance with the rule of law.

“The freedom to publish and issue press releases or grant interviews is not a licence to defame people or clothe rumour-mongering, falsehood and malice as journalism and executive press statements”, the court, he believed would vindicate him of the allegations.

He added that “I will personally testify in the case as a demonstration of my belief in the rule of law as the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction.”

Our correspondent gathered that the duo who are both senatorial flag bearers for Taraba South on the platform of their various political parties have been at loggerheads over who to represent the zone in the red chambers of the National Assembly.

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