By Muhammad Abdurrahman
On July 23, 2021, Dr Abdallah Uthman Gadon-Kaya delivered a Friday sermon in one of the mosques he leads prayers in Kano State. That sermon did not go down well with Prof. Ibrahim Maqari. Thus, he appeared in a video threatening Dr Abdallah to withdraw parts of the statement, or they would meet in court. On July 26, Dr Abdallah received a letter from Prof. Maqari’s lawyers, giving him a 7-day ultimatum to withdraw those “remarks” or face legal action.
Many media organisations, including online newspapers, reported the recent development. But no media reported Dr Abdallah’s side of the story. So the Daily Reality (TDR) spoke with one of his lawyers, Ibrahim Umar Abere.
Barrister Abere told TDR that “We initially received a letter from Prof. Maqari stating that his lawyers were charging Dr Abdallah for defamation. And he was given seven days to withdraw his utterances against Prof. Maqari. If not, he must appear before the court to stand a trial.
“In the letter he sent, his lawyer said that he knew Dr Abdallah had not mentioned Prof. Maqari’s name, but it was clear to them that the things said were directly referring to Prof. Maqari. [This means they were the ones who said that to their client]. We wanted to reply to them instantly. All of a sudden, the Department of State Service (DSS) from Abuja intervened, asking the two parties to sheath their sword and that both parties should report to the DSS office in Kano for reconciliation.”
“We went to the DSS office. I was there; Dr Abdallah was there, and Prof. Maqari, represented by his lawyer, was there. They said that Dr Abdallah must go and withdraw his utterances publicly on his pulpit. We said this is impossible because what happened was that Prof. Maqari spoke, and Dr Abdallah also spoke in their sermons about the things happening. Though some clerics already asked Dr Abdallah to withdraw those remarks that some people felt were harsh. He did so and apologised to all and sundry.
“The DSS stated that they were aware Dr Abdallah had apologised to anybody who misunderstood his sermon or felt any pain. We were satisfied with that. For this, there’s no reason for Abdallah to go and apologise for the second time.
By Allah, this was what happened. The DSS personnel also reminded us that both Abdallah and Maqari have followers; therefore, unless handled cautiously, the issue might become a grave conflict. That was why we did not respond to their letter. Because we take what authority said seriously, that was how our sitting ended,” said Abere.
On August 24, a copy of a summons showing that Prof. Maqari sued Dr Abdallah in an Upper Sharia Court at Rijiyar Lemo, Kano State, trended on social media.
In reaction to that, Abere told TDR that “We have seen that. It means they disagreed with the reconciliation made by the DSS a few weeks ago. That was why they went to court. On hearing that, we had to call the DSS and told them that these people took the case to court despite the fact the dispute had been resolved. For this reason, we had replied to their letter for them to know our stand. We told them that we were also charging Maqari with defamation and other things.
“In our reply on July 30 to Prof. Maqari’s lawyers, Dr Abdallah unreservedly denied all the allegations forwarded by Prof. Maqari. We also gave the lawyers a 7-day ultimatum to withdraw some defamatory remarks in their demand letter. They call Dr Abdallah derogatory names such as liar, lawless, mischievous, reckless, heartless, penchant for hate speech, high-handed and threat to public peace. Otherwise, he [Prof. Maqari] too will face a legal battle,” he lamented.
Surprisingly, Prof. Maqari appeared in yet another video on Saturday, August 28 2021, telling the public that some prominent personalities in the country had intervened on the matter. Therefore he left the case in their hands. This means there would be no court case against Dr Abdallah.
“We have thoroughly prepared to appear before the court on September 6, 2021. All our defences and counter-charges or claims are ready. Then we suddenly saw Prof. Maqari again on social media in another video saying that some people talked to him and now the case is with them.
Does that mean he had withdrawn his charges against Dr Abdallah? If that is the case, that is now how it is done. For Prof. Maqari to withdraw his charges against Dr Abdallah, it should be in a written form. Until now, we have not received any official letter. We just heard about it on social media. People should not seriously regard what has been said on social media or in a video,” concluded barrister Abere.
That’s a very important move if Dr Abdallah were not served a written letter from maqari withdrawing charges against Dr abdallah so we should meet at the court period!
What was aired is not an apology to Imam at Abuja rather he addressed the public, he didn’t withdraw his statement talkless of apology.
As you refer Me. Law why can’t he apologize publicly. If so let him share voice of Prof to the world 🌎 . Or!! Does your client fear Self-abasement before his disciples!
Don’t bush around Mr Lawyer
They should go to court and resolve whatever misunderstanding they have.