Defamation of Alaafin: Ex-Rep, 2 traditional chiefs arraigned in Oyo, granted bail

A former member of the House of Representatives representing Oyo federal constituency, Honourable Kamil Akinlabi, and two Oyo traditional chiefs were on Thursday arraigned before an Oyo Division High Court on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy, attempt to cause breach of peace and defamation of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III.

The two chiefs arraigned along with the former All Progressives Congress (APC) two-term lawmaker are Jacob Oluokun and Isola Sulaiman.

All the accused persons, who were represented by Abiodun Abdul Raheem, pleaded not guilty to all the counts.

According to the charge brought by the prosecutor, Mr J.I. Ebosereme, the accused persons committed the offence on January 31, 2016 in Oyo town within the Oyo judicial division of Oyo State. They allegedly “conspired to commit misdemeanour to wit: defamation of character of a prominent traditional ruler in the state, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi.”

They were alleged to have committed the offence by publishing a defamatory story in the Sunday edition of a national newspaper (not Nigerian Tribune) on the said date alleging that Oba Adeyemi was trying to plant a bomb somewhere in Oyo town, “which was false”.

They were also accused of conducting themselves “in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace of the state.”

The offences, according to the prosecution, were “contrary to and punishable under Sections 517, 375 and 249 of the Criminal Code Laws of Oyo State, 2000.”

In his ruling, Justice Bayo Taiwo granted the accused persons bail on self recognition.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till August 30, 2016 for further hearing.

said “in view of the fact that the accused persons came to court on their volition, as well as the nature of the charge, I hereby grant the accused persons bail based on self recognition. The defence counsel must however file a formal summons for bail before the next adjourned date when this bail granted will expire,” he admonished.

The matter was thereafter adjourned till August 30, 2016 for further hearing.