Defamation of character: North Normal writes El Rufai’s wife, demands apology for threatening to sue

NORTH Normal, an Abuja-based pressure group that stands against sexual and gender-based violence, has demanded an immediate retraction and apology from Hadiza El-Rufai, wife to Governor of Kaduna State, over her libel suit against the group.

The group in a counter suit classified Hadiza’s suit as malicious and a ploy to set them up for violent attacks and harm.

“This is a clear indication of malice; and, of course, that your client has an axe to grind with our clients. It is also a dangerous reckless and malicious ploy to set our clients up as targets for violent attacks, considering the nature of their work,” the document read in part.

Hadiza had slammed a suit against the key members of North Normal group; Farida Adamu, Hassana Maina, Fakhrriyyah Hashim, claiming that they had soiled her reputation for calling her out over her support for a post shared on Twitter on April 12 by her son, Bello Elrufai.

32-year-old Elrufai had come under criticisms after he threatened on Twitter to organise a gang rape of a critic’s mother.

In a private message sent to Twitter user identified as @thanos_zer, El-Rufai said: “Tell your mother I’m passing her to my friends tonight. No Igbo sounds please!”

Soon after the message was made public, Nigerians condemned the statement of Elrufai, beseeching his mother, Hadiza, who is the head of Kaduna State Sexual Assault Task Force, to call her son to order.

However, the First lady of Kaduna State responded in a tweet: “Don’t @ me. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind,” she wrote on Twitter on April 12. “All is fair in love and war. My belief: Respect everyone, but take no shit from anyone. I didn’t see any threats of rape. I would never condone that.”

Hadiza’s comment generated a lot of backlash, with many people describing her post as support for her son’s threat to ‘gang-rape’ someone’s mother – a statement in violation of the Cybercrime Act.




     

     

    In condemnation of the statement by Elrufai and the endorsement by Hadiza, the North Normal group released a public statement on Twitter, demanding an apology and calling for the resignation of Hadiza as the chair of the sexual assault task force group in Kaduna State.

    After tendering an apology on Twitter, the First Lady launched a legal attack against the North Normal group, claiming  they had tarnished her image and seeking several levels of apologies from its members.

    Meanwhile, Elrufai also threatened to sue Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, for his report on the offensive post.

    Bello wrote on Twitter, “Oh @SamuelOgundipe, our hired PDP columnist, you in particular were the last piece of the puzzle. I assure you that my lawyers will get to you to prove the usage/threat of rape. The onus is on you. I eagerly anticipate the #FreeSamuel hashtag. Thanks for completing the jigsaw.

    Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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    1 COMMENT

    1. Dear Sir My Royal Highness My kingdom 💪🙏 I have someone issue About. Sir the Nigeria no be better country b coz of I joined Aire force 6 times I no successful b coz I no get person who go stand 4 me God bless NAF May Allah protecting you. I’am MANSIR ABUBAKAR NAF: 2022/056189. 08144816418

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