• Author: Prince Richmond C. Amadi
• Re-tweet: @umuchiukwu_writ
• 2nd March 2017
It is quite regrettable that Mohammedu Buhari (Indisposed President of Nigeria but at large) do not understand cases meant for civil courts and High Court. On the suit of treasonable felony of eleven count charges levied on Dr. Nnamdi Kanu by federal government of Nigeria, which borders on conspiracy and belonging to unlawful organization (despite quashing six and upholding five) lacks merit to be heard before justices of High court because it is a civil matter; therefore it was fundamentally null and void in the first sight.
A DSS operative, Temisan John, led a team that arrested Nnamdi Kanu on October 14, 2015, at the Golden Tulip Essential Lagos Airport Hotel in Lagos
The Federal Government re-arraigned Kanu before Justice Nyako on an amended 11-count charge bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, and publication of defamatory matter, following the withdrawal of the former trial judge, Justice John Tsoho of the same court. Recall that Justice Tsoho had in September withdrew from the ongoing trial of the Director of Radio Biafra over an allegation of bias leveled against him by Kanu’s legal team. Following Tsoho’s withdrawal, the case file was transferred to Justice Nyako.
Six out of eleven charges were quashed and the remaining five sustained charges border on conspiracy, treasonable felony, publication of defamatory matter and Kanu’s alleged importation of goods contrary. Pointing on defamation, is it supposed to be handled by the federal high court or Civil court?
Understanding Defamatory Charge
Defamation of character is an offense for which a
complainant may be eligible to bring another party to civil court. There are two types of defamation: spoken defamation, or slander, and written defamation, or libel.
Criteria That Makes Defamatory Attainable
Defamation Must Be Objectively False
It is not against the law to say mean things about somebody if they are either true or if they are entirely subjective. For instance, if a restaurant critic says that the food "was the worst I've had in a long time," the statement, while mean, is vague and subjective enough to avoid a lawsuit. Similarly, environmental activists who make the public aware of corporate practices that harm the earth can't be sued for defamation as long as they report the facts.
Defamation Must Be Published
In order to prove injury, you have to prove that other people saw it, heard it, read it and had their minds changed because of the slanderous or libelous statements. Courts generally consider libel to be more serious than slander because writing lasts longer, though major television broadcasts often carry the same weight as major print or web publications because more people viewed them.
Defamation Must Cause Financial Injury
In order to determine the damages from a slander or libel suit, there must be quantifiable damages. Defamation of character damages a person's or company's reputation, and it must be proven that the damage to reputation correlated with a loss of money, property, relationship or was subject to harassment that led to any of the above losses.
Going by the criteria above, defamation must be objectively false. If Buhari wants to prove that Dr. Nnamdi Kanu is wrong he should prove who overthrown duly elected government of Shagari on December 31st, 1983. He was not given a state pardon up until today.
It was also recorded on national dailies of a bloody statement credited to Buhari on May 15th, 2012 that “If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog, and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’
Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, criticized the declaration of a state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States and the subsequent military offensive against the Boko Haram Islamic sect. Buhari, who featured on the “Guest of the Week,” a Hausa programme of the Kaduna-based Liberty Radio, said the federal government’s action was a gross injustice against the north." This was in December 2014.
Buhari should stop wasting time parading himself with bogus charges meant for lower courts. If he does not know his left from right, is corruption when you use federal tools to rain defence and fight your enemies. If he feels Kanu has slandered his personality, the Civil suit is rightful than a High court for the personally perceived issue.
Publisher: Udeagha Obasi