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Court Dismisses Odinkalu’s Fundamental Rights Suit Against Kaduna

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The rights activist Chidi Odinkalu has lost a fundamental rights case filed by his lawyers against Kaduna State at the Federal High Court.

According to a statement from Gloria Ballason his lead attorney, Mr Odinkalu, a former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, was also fined N20,000 after the high court ruled that he should pay N5,000 to each of the four defendants in the case.

Mr Odinkalu sought to enforce his fundamental rights to free speech before the Kaduna Division of the Federal High Court after Kaduna governor Nasir el-Rufai filed charges of injurious falsehood against him.

The case was triggered after Mr Odinkalu made some comments on national television that his sources contradicted claims by Mr El-Rufai that Nigerians of Fulani origin were killed in a Southern Kaduna community. He also accused Mr el-Rufai of being insensitive to the plight of Christians who were killed in the state.

Mr Odinkalu said he spoke with multiple people in the area who debunked the governor’s claim and implied that the governor was lying.

Ms Ballason said Mr Odinkalu would appeal the court ruling.

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