A revenue court sitting in Ilọrin, Kwara State, has granted bail to two journalists, Abdulrazaq Aiyelabegan, publisher of Just Event Online; and Oluwatoyin Lukman of Satcom Media, detained by the Kwara State Police Command at the instance of a former Principal Private Secretary to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Mrs Jumoke Gafar.
They were released by Magistrate Abdulganiyu Ajia following his approval of a bail application filed by their lawyer, Taofeeq Olateju.
City & Crime reports that Mrs Gafar had petitioned the police over a report by the defendants which she claimed was responsible for her non-reappointment by the governor.
Speaking after their release, Taofeeek revealed that the Chairman of the Association of Kwara State Online Media Practitioners (ASKOMP), Saliu Shola Taofeek, chose the path of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to resolve the matter.
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He expressed delight over the petitioner’s willingness to pursue an amicable resolution, adding that ASKOMP members had no intention of tarnishing her reputation.
He, however, urged ASKOMP members to continue upholding the ethical standards of journalism and to remain steadfast in carrying out their duties.
The detention of the journalists attracted widespread condemnation within and outside the state over what was described as a result of the infighting within the ranks of the state government.
According to ASKOMP, the source of the press release for which they were arrested is “a senior government official”.