Legal Drama

Audu Maikori sues Governor El Rufai for 10 Billion Naira over human rights violation

Audu Maikori has sued Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai for 10billion Naira (per violation, with the exception of one violation totally one billion) over violation of his human rights. In an application filed with the Federal High Court of Nigeria, in Abuja state, on May 4, 2017, Maikori outlines, through his lawyers, the basis for his suit. They include:

  1. El Rufai had no legal basis to order his arrest over his tweets of January 23, 2017, regarding the Kaduna herdsman.
  2. El Rufai had no legal basis to order his arrest in Lagos on a warrant issued in Kaduna without following Lagos legal protocols, arrest him in Lagos, and to ship and detain him (lock him up) in Abuja.
  3. El Rufai had no legal basis to re-arrest him after he had been released on bail in Abuja.
  4. El Rufai after he re-arrested Maikori had no legal basis to lock him up and to do so in a local Kaduna jail under “inhuman” conditions.
  5. El Rufai had no legal basis to keep locked up in the Kaduna jail house, and further jeopardize his health even though he knew and had evidence that Maikori suffered from a respiratory issue and was “deathly ill.” Maikori claims he suffered from “Syncopal attack” and “high blood pressure,” among other health conditions that were made known to the governor, and he, unfortunately, contracted a respiratory infection as a result of being locked up.
  6. El Rufai’s actions caused him to fall gravely ill and to seek medical attention abroad where he is “currently fighting for his life”, per the statement in the application.

(UPDATE: The total damages sought is twenty-one billion, plus a 10% interest per annum. The breakdown is:

  • 1 billion for compensatory damages
  • 10 billion for general damages (injury to reputation, business etc.)
  • 10 billion for damages (health, medical etc.))

Folks, you can read the full statements in the application below. However, suffice to say I did say when Maikori was re-arrested that El Rufai’s actions seemed personal and vindictive. I do not know the history between these two but it seems El Rufai was out to draw blood.

AML people, it is important to note that Maikori may never win his case against El Rufai or recover the 10 billion he seeks but, to me, that is not what the lawsuit is about. The lawsuit is about power. It’s about humiliation, it’s about how much El Rufai disgraced and dishonored Maikori in how he effectuated the arrest against Maikori. It’s about the public shaming.

El Rufai essentially said, “Audu Maikori, you may be a public figure, a lawyer, and a respected celebrity but you do not have the power, and all of what you have means nothing. I can control you anytime I want, however, I want, and however, I like.”

In the corridors of power, where it really matters, in Nigeria, El Rufai’s move succeeded in saying, “who’s Audu?” if the name ever came up for important political and social-economic or cultural moves on Maikori’s part. El Rufai’s execution of control over Maikori was simply humiliating, there is no way to mince words about it. Maikori’s lawsuit, in my view, is a way to shift that power and at a minimum, respond to El Rufai to say, “you don’t control me. I am my own man, and by the way, you have someone much higher to answer to.”

I wish Maikori a speedy recovery.

I wish both parties a peaceful resolution to this matter. It’s a sad and unfortunate set of circumstances largely fueled by ego, power, and control, on El Rufai’s part.

My 50 kobo for all it’s worth.

-Ms. Uduak


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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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