Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Federal High Court, Yenagoa has fixed May 3, 20233 for the re-arraignment of a Bayelsa-based journalist, Mr Nengi Owei-Ilagha over an alleged defamatory post against Mr Emmanuel Chiefson on Facebook.
The re-arraignment slated for Thursday could not hold due to the absence of the police prosecutor, Mr Monday Benabo.
Owei-Ilagha was on January 16, 2023, arraigned by Police in Bayelsa which filed charges based on three counts contained on No FHC/YNG/88C/2022 before Justice Emmanuel Gakko.
It was learnt that the re-arraignment follows a transfer of the former trial judge, Bakko who has been transferred.
Chiefson is a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa.
Owei-Ilagha’s counsel, Mr Godfrey Otiotio, said that the prosecuting counsel had informed him in a telephone conversation that he was outside the court’s jurisdiction and unable to attend court.
Otiotio, therefore, prayed the court to grant an adjournment on the case.
Responding to the oral application for adjournment, the new trial judge, Justice Isa Dashen fixed May 3 for arraignment and noted that the bail earlier granted to the defendant by the former trial judge subsists.
The former trial judge had on Jan 16 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.