The Court of Appeal in Abuja, Friday, affirmed that the Kaduna State Government violated the rights of the Chief Executive Officer of Chocolate City, Audu Maikori, when it took him from Lagos to Kaduna in 2017.
In its judgment, a three-person panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court holding the actions of the Kaduna State Government as unlawful and unconstitutional.
The court assessed damages at N10.5 million in favour of Mr Maikori.
The appeal court reduced the damages awarded by the high court from N40 million to N10.5 million.
Friends and associates of Mr Maikori broke the news on Twitter on Friday. Mr Maikori also retweeted the court judgement on his official Twitter handle.
Mr Maikori filed a N10 billion lawsuit against Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and the state government, accusing the state of violating his human rights in 2017.
He filed a fundamental human rights enforcement suit on May 5, 2017, after he was arrested for allegedly inciting the public in Kaduna State.
The suit was filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by Mr Maikori’s lawyers, Ballason’s Chambers.
Justice John Tsoho presided over the case.
Mr Maikori asked the court to enforce his fundamental rights against undue harassment and intimidation by the Kaduna government, Mr El-Rufai and the Nigeria Police.
Mr. Maikori, 43, was first arrested in Lagos on February 12, 2017, after a petition was filed by the Kaduna State Government over a post on his social media pages that turned out to be false.
The story had to do with the purported killing of five College of Education students in Southern Kaduna.
The label boss later apologised for posting the false story, adding that his driver relayed it to him, and said his (driver) brother was among the victims.
He was subsequently transferred to Force Headquarters in Abuja for interrogation He was eventually released on bail and cleared of any complicity by the Police Force headquarters.
He was then rearrested and taken to Kaduna where he was detained for four days before he was charged to court.
Mr El-Rufai had before his second arrest, vowed, at the fifth edition of Social Media Week in Lagos, to prosecute Mr Maikori for incitement.
The music label owner was later granted bail by the court on health grounds.
In May 2017, Mr Maikori in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/385/17, asked the court to award N21 billion to him as damages.