From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
A Daily Trust newspapers reporter in Nasarawa, Hir Joseph, charged to court by the police over alleged offence of injurious falsehood was yesterday granted bail by a Lafia Magistrate II court.
Hir was first detained last Friday, from 11 am to 9 p.m. at the headquarters of the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), over a report he wrote, published in the Daily Trust of Friday May 9 with the caption: “Female NSCDC, Police Personnel Demand Rescue of Chibok Girls”.
When he reported back at the CID, the reporter was held from 9 a.m. on the orders of the state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, till about 2 p.m., when he was charged to court.
A copy of the First Information Report (FIR), obtained by our reporter ,indicate that Hir Joseph was being accused of injurious falsehood allegedly capable of injuring or casting aspersions on the credibility of the force or achieve personal goals.
The statement added that the Daily Trust reporter falsely represented to the public that policewomen in the state joined other women in the streets of Lafia to demand for the rescue of the abducted girls.
“He further falsely published in page 56 in the May 11 edition of the Daily Trust an article captioned: “Police detained six female corps over SaveOurGirls protest”, thereby casting aspersion and further injuring the credibility of the police.”
Presenting the case, Police Prosecutor, Joshua Abolarin, citing Section 341 (2), requested the court to remand the accused in prison custody, after opposing any attempt for the Daily Trust reporter to be granted bail.
However, counsel to the accused, Mohammed Danjuma, dismissed the initial claim by the prosecution, saying that the offence for which the accused is being charged was bailable.
He, therefore, asked the court to admit the accused to bail, citing both Section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and Section 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
In his ruling, presiding judge, Yakubu Ishaku Eggah, granted the accuse bail on the sum of N150, 000, fixing June 19 for hearing.