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Court orders remand of two Journalists in Kwara

An Ilorin Magistrate Court, today, ordered the remand of two brothers; Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun for allegedly defaming and inciting public against the government of Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq.

Meanwhile, their arraignment was preceded by a drama like scenerio with the corrections service officers stormed the court premises in a commando style, handcuffed the defendants and attempted wheeling them to prison without remand warrant.

The development members of the Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioners (ASKOMP) and senior colleagues in journalism, who were on ground, resisted in a peaceful protest saying such process is illegal, unconditional and it’s a radical display of power.

During the sitting, the prosecutor, Nasir Yusuf, informed the court that the police investigation over the matter is still ongoing praying for another date for adjournment.

On the issue of bail, Yusuf prayed the court to grant the applications seeking the remand of the defendants as contained in the motion exparte attached to the police report. He added that the motion is supported by eleven paragraph affidavit.

Magistrate Bio Salihu who presided over the matter however overruled the defendant’s Councel, Barrister Kehinde Eleja SAN from appearing before him.

Eleja argued that the defendants have the right to a legal representation and he has the choice to appear for them stressing that his appearance is backed by law.

The Magistrate insisted that accounding to the Kwara State law, he lack the jurisdiction to hear him on the basis of being Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

The however granted the prosecutor’s application for remand while the matter is adjourned to 19th of this month.

Earlier, members of the ASKOMP and other journalists who stormed the police headquarters in a peaceful protest against the detention of the defendants, were beaten teargassed, arrested and subsequently charged to court.

It would be recall that the Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Rafiu Ajakaye, through a petition letter to the Commissioner of Police accused them of defamation and inciting public against the government.

Ajakaye said Abdulrasheed posted a comment on the popular WhatsApp platform, Kwara Commission, accusing government of the day of being most corrupt and of facilitating fifteen million naira to prosecute the last election of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ), Kwara State chapter.

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