Defamation: Civil Servant Sues Kaduna Poly, Rector, Seeks N1Bn Damages 

•Main gate, Kaduna Polytechnic
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By Abraham Olatokunbo

 

A civil servant, Mrs Bilikisu Sannusi, has dragged Kaduna Polytechnic and its Rector, Professor Idris Bugaje, before a High Court of Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, over malicious publication.

The plaintiff in the suit filed by her counsel, Martins Opara, Esq., prayed the court for N1 billion damages over the said malicious publication.

 

According to Mrs. Sannusi, the defendants should be ordered to retract the malicious statement and tender apology to her.

 

She said in the document with suit number FCT/HC/CV/154/2021 that the publication dated 15th April, 2019 is untrue, malicious and a calculated attempt at bringing her personality into disrepute.

 

In the statement of claim of the plaintiff dated February 24, 2021, Mrs Sannusi, a civil servant in the budget office of the ministry of finance said by virtue of her schedule as Desk Officer in charge of Kaduna Polytechnic budget preparation schedule, sometime in 2018 she prepared the school personnel budget for 2018 and did it to the best of her ability.

 

She said in the statement of claim, ”That premised on the memo and recommendations of the plaintiff in response to Kaduna Polytechnic application for increase in personnel budget, duly reviewed and recommended by the director, Expenditure Social, budget manager and director general budget office of the federation, the sum of N7,362144,510,91k was approved.

”The plaintiff discharged her duty with respect to the application for increase of personnel budget without favour and under supervision and review of her superior officers.

”Sometime on 15th July, 2020, while testifying in an Investigative Panel of Inquiry, constituted after her complaint against some of her colleagues for corrupt practices, she was confronted with a letter of complaint authored by the defendant where she was described in the most uncharitable words, which statement referred to the plaintiff as not only incompetent, but corrupt but the committee refused giving her a copy.”

 

According to her, the defamatory letter is dated 15th April, 2019 and the purpose of the letter is to malign her.

She said she was denied a copy until she stumbled on it while walking in the lobby within the federal ministry of finance.

In the.letter, the defendant had accused the plaintiff of asking them do the ”needful’ to be able to assist them to increase their budget.”

Counsel to Mrs Sannusi, Barrister Opars said, ”The defendants’ sole purpose of authorising the letter of 15 April, 2019 is to malign the plaintiff and same was made maliciously especially as its contents are spurious and totally untrue but did achieve the aim of the makers as contents therein did upon coming to the knowledge of her colleague who saw it lowered her person before them who before seeing same held her in high esteem thereby losing her over three decades of integrity in the civil service.

 

”The defendants were on a vendetta because they were fingered in the corrupt practices complaint lodged by the plaintiff against them and some of her colleagues who conspired with them to manipulate the personnel budget of the Kaduna Polytechnic for year 2020
The case will come up before the court on Tuesday, November 23, 2021.

 

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