A journalist in the south-southern Nigerian state of Bayelsa, Nengi Owei-Ilagha, was arraigned in Yenagoa Federal High Court on Monday for allegedly making defamatory posts on Facebook against a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in the condition.

The police relations committee member has been identified as Emmanuel Chiefson.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the police commissionerBen Okolo filed a three-count indictment against the journalist before a judge, Emmanuel Gakko.

However, the defendant, Mr. Owei-Ilagha, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His lawyer, Godfrey Otiotio, filed an application for bail. He said police granted the defendant administrative bond and he was ready to stand trial.

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Speaking about the request, the prosecution’s lawyer, MY Benabo, said he was not opposed to bail. But, nevertheless, he asked the court to urge the defendant not to make comments on social networks that could harm the outcome of the case.

The defense lawyer, Mr. Otiotio, promised that his client would not make any comments related to the case on social media.

In ruling on the bail application, the judge admitted the journalist to N1 million bail and a guarantee.

Gakko said that the media have played and continue to play positive roles in society, but insisted that it is illegal for the media to anticipate the outcome of cases before the judiciary.


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