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Kaduna government sues Odinkalu, accuses him of inciting disturbance

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The Kaduna state government has filed a suit against former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu.

In the suit dated March 18, 2019, the government accused the human rights lawyer of inciting disturbance and furnishing false information which is punishable under the state’s penal codes.

In February, Odinkalu had accused Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-Rufai about the number of casualties and the timing of the attacks on Kajuru local government area of the state where the governor had pegged casualties at 66.

The governor had described the killings as deliberate and designed to attract reprisals and destabilise the local government during the election.

Odinkalu negated the claim saying he contacted many sources in the state including residents, traditional and religious rulers and he could confirm that casualties were about 11.

The government, in the suit filed at the chief magistrate’s court of Kaduna state, said Odinkalu committed an offence with his comments.

The government further asked that a cause of criminal summons be issued against Odinkalu for “inciting disturbance, injurious falsehood, public nuisance, and furnishing false information punishable under section 77, 373, 104, and 150 respectively of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna state, 2017”.

Following another application filed by the government, the court, on March 22, gave an order for the Kaduna state command of the Nigeria Police Force to carry out an investigation on Odinkalu.

In a letter dated March 28, the Kaduna state judiciary wrote the deputy commissioner of police in charge of criminal investigation and intelligence department to effect the investigation.

When contacted, Yakubu Sabo, police spokesperson in Kaduna, said he would need time to check with the development on the matter as it is an investigative one.

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