Kaduna State Government has flayed the allegations in a petition to the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, against Governor Nasiru el-Rufa’i, stating that the state government upholds the rule of law, for the purposes of promoting peaceful coexistence and advancing good governance.
In a 14 point statement by the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Aisha Dikko, the government refuted what it described as spurious allegations that were made by certain persons in a petition to the NBA.
She noted that the criminal cases mentioned “have a common thread of incitement and spreading false information which cannot be tolerated in any civilised community, not least in a state that has suffered from so much ethno-religious strife.”
She condemned alleged attempt by petitioners to personalise government, stating that “the cases mentioned in the NBA petition were filed by the Ministry of Justice as part of its statutory duty to enforce law and order.”
The Attorney-General stated that “a government that goes to court as the proper arena for deciding cases cannot be reasonably accused of not respecting the rule of law. Those who assert the contrary have the burden of showing how the rule of law can be advanced without the courts and whether society is better served by permitting license, or confusing incitement with freedom of speech.”
According to the Commissioner, it amounted to stretching the fact that Dadiyata was abducted within Kaduna State to mean the involvement of the state government in the matter.
“Every citizen that the state government has reason to suspect has been involved in incitement, injurious falsehood or criminal defamation has been appropriately charged before the courts and afforded due process,” she added.
The Attorney General pointed out that Kaduna State Government ‘’has neither filed any complaint against Mr. Usman with the police nor has it instituted a suit against him before the court.”
The statement urged that Chidi Odinkalu had cases pending before the Chief Magistrate Court, High Court and Federal High Court, Kaduna, saying ’The facts are that on the 16th February 2019, while on Channels TV, he made serious allegations against the governor of Kaduna state which were capable of inciting disturbance and the breakdown of law and order in the State.
‘’Consequently, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice filed an application before the Chief Magistrate Court No.1 Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna state with case No. KMD/27DC/2019 for the issuance of criminal summons against Chidi Odinkalu for committing the offences of inciting disturbance, injurious falsehood, public nuisance and furnishing false information punishable under sections 77, 373, 104 and 150 respectively of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State, 2017, the statement said.
According to the Attorney General, ‘’the DPP applied for an order of the court, for the police to investigate the allegations against Mr. Odinkalu and report the outcome of the investigations to the court, an application that was granted by the court.”