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Alleged incitement against Kwara gov’t: Court grants journalists bail

A magistrates’ court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday granted bail to Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun, two detained journalists in Kwara State. They were accused…

A magistrates’ court sitting in Ilorin on Wednesday granted bail to Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun, two detained journalists in Kwara State.

They were accused of allegedly defaming and inciting the public against Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the CPS, Rafiu Ajakaye.

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Magistrate Bio Saliu granted the suspects, who are siblings, bail of N500,000 each among other requests.

They were brought to court at around 10.15am with sympathisers, colleagues and family members flooding the court premises.

There was a mild drama between the police prosecutor and the representative of the office of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, over the way and manner in which the case was taken over by the former.

But the court ruled to stop the disagreement and shut out the prosecutor.

The representative of the office of Attorney General, Abdulmumeen Busari, had asked the court to grant him at least 24 hours to study the case having just taken over the matter.

But counsel to the defendants, Barrister Olaitan, opposed the submission and urged the court to admit the defendants to bail.

Magistrate Saliu, in his ruling, granted the suspect bail and adjourned the case to November 23, 2022.

The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, through a petition to the Commissioner of Police, had accused the duo of defamation and inciting the public against the government.

He said AbdulRasheed posted a comment on the popular WhatsApp platform, Kwara Commission, accusing the government of the day of being most corrupt and of facilitating N15 million to prosecute the last election of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kwara State chapter.

The Kwara State Police Commissioner, Paul Odama, in trying to mediate, had advised that they apologise, but the duo claimed they had evidence to prove their claims.

The development reportedly prompted the CP to order prosecution of the case.

There has been widespread condemnation of their detention as human rights and media bodies have called for their release.

 

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