Magunjin Garin Sokoto Slams N500m Libel Suit


on Ex-Governorship Candidate, Shinkafi

Akinwale Akintunde

Magunjin Garin Sokoto, Alhaji Hassan Danbaba, has dragged the Zamfara State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the last election, Alhaji Sani Shinkafi, to court for alleged defamation of his character.

In the suit instituted at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Danbaba is amongst other prayers claiming the sum of N500 million as damages against the defendant.

The claimant, who is the President of Bina Consult and Integrated Service Ltd, alleged that the defendant had in a most vicious and vitriolic attacked his integrity and reputation through an Internet publication which has gone viral.

According to him, the defendant, had on or about September 28, 2019 on his Whatsapp published a libelious petition titled ‘Request to Recover Over N900 million Unremitted Funds Belonging to Zamfara State’, which he circulated to his contacts and thereafter to other members of the public.

He claimed that the said words in the petition in their natural and ordinary meaning connoted that he conspired with a former Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari to fraudulently acquire a property belonging to Zamfara State. Dambaba also averred that the petition portrayed him as a corrupt person who conspired with Yari to defraud the state of the sum of N950 million and more and that he is a thief, a fraudster, and a corrupt person.

He averred that the defendant knew and intended that these words or statement published on the social media platform would be republished by his contacts and close associates and which would equally be republished on other electronic and social platforms until it is circulated all over Nigeria.

He said the publication went ‘viral’ in the sense that within a few hours, a large but unquantifiable number of WhatsApp users within the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and all over Nigeria and abroad read the publication including but not limited to his close friends and business associates.

Danbaba averred that as a result of the libelous words published against him, his reputations have been gravely and flagrantly damaged by the defendant and this has occasioned considerable distress and embarrassment to him.

He argued that given his position as the Magajin Garin Sokoto, the publication has caused him great embarrassment and lowered his estimation in the eyes of Nigerians generally and in particular, all the people who are either part of, or look up to the great Sokoto Caliphate as an embodiment of the great history, tradition and culture of the people.

He added that the position of Magajin Garin Sokoto places him as the highest ranking traditional title holder after the Sultan of Sokoto himself.

The claimant therefore prayed the court for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, whether by himself, his servants, agents, associates, friends, from further publishing or causing to be published the said words or any word similarly defamatory against him.