The Federal High Court, Yenagoa has fixed May 3, 20233 for re-arraignment of a Bayelsa-based journalist, Mr Nengi Owei-Ilagha was for allegedly making defamatory posts against Mr Emmanuel Chiefson on Facebook.
The re-arraignment slated for Thursday could not hold due to the absence of Police prosecutor, Mr Monday Benabo.
Owei-Ilagha was on Jan.16, 2023 arraigned by Police in Bayelsa which filed three counts charge maked charge No FHC/YNG/88C/2022 before Justice Emmanuel Gakko.
NAIJA LIVE TV learnt that the re-arraignment follows a transfer of the former trial judge , Bakko who has been transferred.
Chiefson, is a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa.
Owei-Ilagha’s counsel, Mr Godfrey Otiotio, said that the prosecuting counsel had informed him in a telephone conversation that he was outside the court’s jurisdiction and unable to attend court.
Otiotio therefore prayed the court to grant an adjournment on the case.
Responding to the oral application for adjournment, the new trial judge, Justice Isa Dashen fixed May 3 for arraignment and noted that the bail earlier granted to the defendant by the former trial judge subsists.
The former trial judge had on Jan 16 admitted the Bayelsa Based media practitioner to bail of N1 million and one surety preferably the same surety on the administrative bail earlier granted by the Police.
NAIJA LIVE TV reported that, the Police had on Monday January 16, 2023 arraigned the Bayelsa born journalist, Nengi Owei-Ilagha, at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa for alleged defamation of a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa State.
The police arraigned Owei-Ilagha on a three-count charge of defamation over a Facebook post on a member of the committee identified as Emmanuel Chiefson.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, Godfrey Otiotio, who filed an application for his client’s bail, said the defendant was earlier granted administrative bail by the police.
He added that Owei-Ilagha was ready to present himself for trial anytime.
The prosecution counsel, M.Y. Benabo, did not oppose the bail application.
But he asked the court to warn the defendant not to make comments on social media as such could prejudice the outcome of the case.
The defence counsel assured that his client would not make any comment related to the case on social media.
The judge granted the journalist bail in the sum of N1 million and one surety in like sum.
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