A 37 year-old civil servant in Kwara State, Mr Biodun Baba, was on Thursday arraigned in a magistrate’s court in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. The court is presided over by Mr Ahmad Dasuki.
Baba, who is said to be a primary school teacher and a member of the All Progressives Congress, was accused of making uncomplimentary and inciting post on his Facebookpage against the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
The offences, according to the Judicial Form 2 issued by the court, were contrary to sections 113, 114, 393, 394 of the Penal Code of Northern Nigeria and sections 883 and 204 of the Criminal Code Act.
The complainant, Alhaji Jimoh Adesina, who is the party Chairman, Kwara Central Senatorial District, Ilorin, accused Baba, who is of Ile Kolawole Gambari Ward 1, Ilorin East Local Government Area of engaging in acts cpable of inciting “disturbance of public peace, injurious falsehood, printing or engraving matter known to be defamatory and insult to a religion.”
He said, “Since July, 2017, the accused, through his walls on Facebook, has been inciting the public against the Kwara-Central Senatorial District representative at the upper chambers, Dr Olubukola Saraki, the incumbent Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Baba has been exerting undue influence on innocent persons which is a threat to public peace by spreading falsehood which has caused and still causing disaffection, pandemonium among the citizens of Kwara State and beyond by disparaging the person of the Senate President, the good people of Kwara-Central Senatorial District, which he represents.
“The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the dissemination of false and untrue information accentuated with malice about the third citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the whole world, urging the public not to vote for him as a senator in 2019 in the column of his FB of July 3, 2017 by 9.54pm. The statement, in fact, is credited to the accused person after necessary investigation was carried out.”
A twist, however, emerged after the matter was called up and the counsel for the complainant, Mr Sikiru Solagberu, informed the court that his client wrote a letter to him to withdraw the case from the court.
The complainant counsel read the letter to the presiding magistrate and informed him that he received the letter on July 26, 2017 informing him to withdraw the case against Baba.
He urged the court to grant his application for the withdrawal of the case.
Counsel for the accused, Mr Sambo Muritala, said his client would ordinarily not object to the complainant’s letter to withdraw.
He, however, said it was safer for the complainant’s counsel to make proper application before the court and support it with an affidavit.
After listening to the arguments, the magistrate later adjourned the matter till August 3 for ruling on the application to withdraw the case