Gov. El-Rufai testifies in libel case against newspaper

Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna

Kaduna State governor, Nasiru El-Rufai has given evidence at a Kaduna High Court in a libel action he instituted against the publishers of the Union Newspaper.

In July 2015, less than two months after he took the oath office, the Union published a  story about the governor’s assets.

In a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, the Union published a story which contained invented figures they said the governor held in cash and assets.

“For good measure, the newspaper claimed that there was uneasy calm and shock in Kaduna over the false assets they had reported,” the statement quoted.

The Governor thereby directed his legal team to sue the Today Publishing Limited and the reporter for defamation.

It read that the governor, accompanied by his deputy, Architect Barnabas Bala, appeared before Justice Mairo L. Muhammed seeking for justice over the attempt by the publishers if the Union to defame him.

Led in evidence by his counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN), during cross-examination, El-Rufai affirmed that he declared his assets as governor-elect as mandated by the constitution prior to taking the oath of office as Governor of Kaduna State.

Governor El-Rufai was quoted to have confirmed that he became very successful and comfortable as a chartered Quantity Surveyor.

The governor’s testimony was delayed by contention among the counsels over admissibility of documents.

Having heard both sides, the judge ruled, admitting in evidence all the documents by the legal team of Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

Following the conclusion of cross-examination, the court adjourned to 15thJune for the defence to open its case.