By Martin Cole-
A man, Jibrin Sawuta, on Thursday has sued a middle-aged woman, Hassana Yohanna, before an Upper Customary Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State for allegedly calling him impotent.
Yohanna has been sued on three counts of intentional insult, defamation and criminal intimidation.
The offence is against sections 312, 371 and 376 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law.
In the criminal complaint filed before the court, Sawuta alleged that he was chatting with friends in the village head of Fadan Kagoma’s Palace when he received information that his brother had been arrested by the police.
Following his arrival at the station, he said, the defendant emerged from nowhere and started hurling insults at him, saying he was impotent and had no child.
After insulting him, the defendant inexplicably rushed to embrace him.
When the charge was read to the defendant, she pleaded not guilty.
Presiding judge, George Gwani granted the defendant bail in the sum of N30, 000 and one surety who must be a district head within the jurisdiction of the court.
Gwani adjourned the matter until June 19 to enable the complainant present witnesses to prove his case
Accusing a man of being impotent, especially falsely, can damage a person’s reputation, cause emotional distress, lead to stigmatization, and result in the loss of relationships, job opportunities, and societal standing. In a culture where virility and masculinity may be highly valued, false accusations of impotence can carry particularly severe consequences.
Defamation refers to a false statement that harms a person’s reputation and is communicated to a third party. It can take two forms: libel and slander. Libel refers to defamatory statements made in writing, print, pictures, or any other permanent form, while slander refers to defamatory statements made orally or through other transient means.
In order to establish a claim of defamation in Nigeria, the following elements must generally be proven in that the statement in question must be false and be communicated to a third party. Merely expressing an opinion to the person directly affected generally does not constitute defamation.
The false statement must have the potential to harm the person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of society. The harm may manifest as damage to one’s personal or professional reputation, social standing, or character.
Defences to defamation cases include truth, fair comment, privilege (such as statements made in court or by public officials in the course of their duties), and consent.
Remedies for Proven Cases of Defamation
If a case of defamation is proven in court, the injured party may seek various remedies, including:
The court may award monetary compensation to the injured party, known as damages. The amount of damages will depend on factors such as the severity of the harm, the extent of the publication, and the effect on the person’s reputation and well-being.
Injunctions: In certain cases, the court may issue an injunction to prevent further publication of the defamatory statement or to require its retraction or correction.