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Court Strikes Out Case Of Journalist Accused Of Insulting Lai Mohammed



The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday discharged a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi of allegations of insulting former Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

The presiding judge, Emeka Nwite struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution.

The matter, which was listed for plea on today’s cause list, could not proceed due to the absence of the prosecution counsel, Joseph Offor, prompting the defendant’s lawyer, Soji Toki, to apply that the matter be struck out.

Toki reminded the court that since Offor was in court on 30 March after the matter was reassigned to the judge, the prosecution had not been coming to court.

The judge subsequently granted Toki’s application for being non-contested and struck out the charge.

Naija News recalls that the case was initially assigned to Anwuli Chikere in 2020 before her retirement.

Chikere had ordered Jolayemi’s remand after he was arraigned for alleged spreading of an audio file said to have “caused annoyance, ill-will, hatred, and insults towards the minister.”

The judge ordered the defendant be remanded in the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department headquarters, in Abuja, pending the hearing of his bail application

He was later granted bail before the matter was reassigned to Nwite.

The prosecution was in court on 30 March when the matter came up before Nwite.

However, he was not in court on 15 June and the case was adjourned until today (18 October).

Jolayemi, who anchors a Yoruba radio programme, “Bi aye se ri” on Osun State Broadcasting Service and Radio Kwara, was on 5 May 2020, arrested by the police for reciting a poem which was critical of the minister.