Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the civil defamation suit filed against him by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, insisting that nothing will stop him from expressing his opinion.
The Senator said although he has yet to be served a notice of the suit, his lawyers are ready and well prepared to defend him.
“The distinguished Senator wishes to assure all his supporters and well-wishers that nothing and absolutely nothing can stop him from expressing his opinion on either Kaduna state or National issues,” a statement by Suleiman Ahmed, a Special Adviser to the Senator read in part.
“The distinguished Senator is a dogged fighter who has been through many courts and even prisons in his life of struggle and can never be stopped or intimidated to silenced by any means.”
Governor El-Rufai sued the Senator on Friday accusing him of defaming his character and demanding N500million damages on four defamation charges, making a total of N2billion damages.
The governor, who personally filed the suit on Friday, is seeking compensation for the injury he allegedly suffered as a result of “the malicious statements” by Senator Sani.
But the Senator denied the governor’s claims, arguing that he had not used derogatory remarks on the governor.
Despite the lawsuit, the Senator said he would continue to do what he has been doing which, according to him, is to hold public officers to account.
“The senator will continue to beam the light in the dark and grey areas of our democracy. Those who are irritated by the truth simply need to get a cotton bud,” he said.
“Those who voluntarily offer themselves for public service have also chosen to offer themselves for public scrutiny.”
In his reaction to the suit, the Senator accused the governor’s aides of launching a campaign of calumny against him.
“The distinguished Senator has in the last two years endured and overcame sponsored violence and campaign of calumny by the aides of the state governor and will overcome this,” he said.
It is the latest twist in the conflict between both men who despite being members of the All Progressives Congress have been unable to resolve their differences.
Consequently, they have continued to disagree on governance in Kaduna State and at the federal level.
Their years’ long dispute is believed to have played a major part in dividing the APC in Kaduna.
On Sunday, last week, a faction of the party had emerged with Senator Sani and Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, who was suspended by the Kaduna APC two days earlier, as key figures.
While Senator Hunkuyi was suspended for six months, thirty-eight members of the party were expelled for anti-party activities.
Senator Sani was suspended by the party in 2016.