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Alleged defamation: Court refuses prosecution prayer to remand Kwara Vanguard Correspondent

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A Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin Wednesday granted bail to Kwara State Correspondent of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Demola Akinyemi over a case of alledge criminal conspiracy, defamation and falshood levelled against him by an Ilorin based trader ,Alhaja Mariam Babatunde Arolahun.

Arolahun a trader in the popular Oja -Tutun market, Ilorin had petittioned the police alleging Akinyemi of “criminal conspiracy, defamation and falshood” over a publication in the paper’s online medium titled “Kwara market women threatens to protest naked over colleagues mysterious death”

The story was published in the paper’s online medium of January 30th 2024..

It would be recalled that the nominal complainant had allegedly an altercation with another trader , Medinat in the same Oja-tuntu market , Ilorin over misunderstanding that erupted between the dou over a shop allocated to them by the authorities of Ilorin West local government after which the co- trader later died.

Following the publication of the story, the complaint petitioned the police alledging conspiracy, defamation and falsehood.

Consequently the police on Tuesday invited Akinyemi and arraigned him before Magistrate Court in Ilorin on Wednesday .

In his submission before the court presided over by magistrate Balkis Baraje, the prosecution ,represented by corporal Abdulraheem Musa told the court not to grant the defendant bail saying the police had not concluded investigation and that the defendant might jump bail.

He said in the event the court decided to grant the defendant bail, it stringent condition should be attached to it.

But counsel to the defendant, A. C Okafor and H A Musa argued that the offences for which Akinyemi was arraigned in court is a minor offence and assured the court that the defendant will not jump bailed.

Okafor said “bail is at the discretion of the court and should be used judiciously”.

He said the police First Information Repory (FIR ) with which the defendat was brought to court ” is a mere information and the defendant is innocent until proven otherwise by the court”.

He urged the court to grant Akinyemi bail in subtle manner.

Okafor said “refusal of grant the defendant bail will amount to pre-trial punishment which the law abhors” .

After listening to the submissions of both prosecution and the defendant’s counsel, the presiding magistrate granted Akinyemi bail in the sum of N500,000 with two surties in like sum, one of which must be close relation to the defendant.

He later adjourned the case till May 20th for comencement of hearing.

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