Rights Violation: Kefas Sues el-Rufai, Others For N20m

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BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – Social Media Activist Steven Kefas has sued Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna state for N20 million for violation of his fundamental human rights and denial of bail since his incarceration on May 8, 2019.

According to court papers filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/737/2019, also joined in the suit are Aisha Dikko who is now the Kaduna State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Chairman, Kajuru Local Government Area, Cafra Boaz Caino, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police and the Inspector General of Police.

Hearing on the case will commence on August 14, 2019 in Abuja.

According to the court papers filed by his lawyers, led by Barr. Vembe Terence Terfa, Kefas is seeking the sum of N20 million “only on the footing of exemplary and aggravated damages for unlawful violation the applicant’s rights, his arrest, detention, and interference with privacy being oppressive, arbitrary capricious, and unconstitutional, and for injuring the dignity and pride of the applicant and for causing him great psychological trauma, we submit My Lord that, where agents of the Government breach the constitutional rights of a citizen, there is need to award aggravated and exemplary damages to serve as a deterrent.”

Kefas was arrested on May 8, 2019 in Port Harcourt and brought to Kaduna where he was arraigned before a magistrate court that granted him bail on May 13, 2019. He was subsequently re-arrested and placed in prison remand.

Three weeks ago, Justice Mairo Mohammed of the Kaduna High Court 2 refused to grant him bail and fixed September 26, 2019 for his bail hearing.

Her reason for denying the bail was hinged on Kefas’ social media activities when he was granted bail in the first instance. Curiously, the prosecuting team could not produce proof any social media activity they alleged was done by the accused.

Kefas has so far spent nearly three months in Kaduna Prisons over social media postings which the Kajuru LGA Chairman claimed is injurious to his person.

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