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Police Arraigns Bayelsa-Based Journalist For Alleged Defamatory Facebook Post

Nigerian Police
January 16, (THEWILL) – Bayelsa State Police on Monday, arraigned a Bayelsa-based journalist, Mr Nengi Owei-Ilagha, before the Federal High Court, Yenagoa for allegedly making defamatory posts against Mr Emmanuel Chiefson, on Facebook.
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Chiefson is a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa

Owei-Ilagha, an author and broadcast journalist, was a speech writer to two former Governors of Bayelsa and the former General Manager,  Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation.

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Ben Okolo, filed a three count charge marked No FHC/YNG/88C/2022 before Justice Emmanuel Gakko

The defendant, Owei-Ilagha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

His counsel, Godfrey Otiotio, moved an application for bail as the defendant, earlier granted administrative bail by the Police, was ready to present himself for trial.

Speaking on the application, Mr M.Y. Benabo, Prosecuting Counsel, noted that although he was not opposing the bail, the court should urge the defendant from making comments on social media that could prejudice the outcome of the case.

Also, defence counsel Otiotio pledged that he will not make comments in the media as it would amount to prejudice and would advise his client to do the same.

Ruling on the bail application, the trial judge admitted the media practitioner to bail of N1 million and one surety, preferably the same surety on the administrative bail earlier granted by the Police.

Gakko noted that the media has played and continues to play positive roles in the society but harped that it is unlawful for the media to preempt the outcome of cases before the judiciary.