A former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, has filed a suit through his lawyer, Okechukwu Nwaeze, demanding payment of N10 billion damages from Kano State pensioners for “tarnishing his image”.
On May 30, barely 24 hours after the handing over of power, PREMIUM TIMES reported that pensioners in the state had dragged Mr. Kwankwaso to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, demanding recovery of N2 billion pension funds allegedly deposited by the former governor in a failed bank.
Mr. Nwaeze filed a case seeking the court to stop the EFCC from arresting Mr. Kwankwaso as fear of arrest had confined the former governor to his residence and stopped him from discharging his legislative duties.
However, Mr. Nwaeze later withdrew the case when Mr. Kwankwaso disowned him and denied knowledge of the legal action against the anti-graft agency on his behalf.
PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr. Neuse has now gone back to court demanding payment of N10 billion damages from the pensioners for describing his client, Mr. Kwankwaso, as “corrupt, criminal governor who is a proper subject for prosecution by the EFCC” in their petition.
In the writ obtained by our correspondent, the lawyer also accused the pensioners of saying that the plaintiff, Mr. Kwankwaso, misappropriated over N10 billion pension funds through Kano State Pensions Board.
Mr. Nwaeze said his client was not in court owing to the fact that the pensioners described him as “high-handed [person] who is not fit to lead or be supported by the people of Kano, and that he is dishonest and not to be believed and trusted”.
He stated that due to the pensioners’ allegations, Mr. Kwankwaso had suffered public ridicule, ostracism by acquaintances, members of Mr. Kwankwaso’s political group, Kwankwasiyya, and some of the people he was elected to represent at the National Assembly.
Mr. Nwaeze therefore sought payment of N10 billion damages and another N500 million to his client for the repeated publication of the allegations against the plaintiff by the defendants.
The case, with a suit number: K/196/ of 2015, between Mr. Kwankwaso and the defendants, Lamido M. Matawale and 4 others before a Kano High Court, was adjourned to September 28 for mention.
A Kano High Court judge, Muhammad Yahya, had earlier ordered Mr. Nwaeze to pay N50, 000 to the EFCC, and also ordered the Nigeria Bar Association investigate him for misrepresentation after seeking withdrawal of the case barring the anti-graft agency from arresting Mr. Kwankwaso.
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