An Abeokuta High Court on Thursday dismissed an application by a senator, Buruji Kashamu, to initiate a contempt of court proceedings against PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr. Kashamu, wanted in the U.S. for drug related offences, made the application at the resumed hearing of his suit for defamation against a member of the House of Representatives, Ladi Adebutu.
At the hearing, Mr. Kashamu’s counsel, Raphael Oluyede, drew the attention of the court to a publication by this newspaper.
In the publication, the lawyers representing Mr. Adebutu in the suit had alleged that an attempt was made on their lives after the court sitting by persons they linked to Mr. Kashamu.
The senator’s spokesperson, in the report, denied the allegation, describing it as laughable.
Mr. Oluyede said the PREMIUM TIMES’ report was a contempt of the court and that the story painted his client in bad light before the public. He asked the court to legally address the publication.
The counsel then presented a printed copy of the publication to the court as exhibit in his prayer to hold the newspaper in contempt of the court.
The judge, Abiodun Akinyemi, after going through the publication however dismissed the prayer of the counsel. He said the court had nothing against the publication, stressing that the newspaper only carried out its constitutional role.
“I have gone through the publications. The court has nothing against the publication, it is not a contempt. The newspaper is doing its job, I am not going to say more,” the judge stated.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned further hearing till March 16 and 17 in Mr. Kashamu’s suit against Mr. Adebutu, following a request by the claimant’s counsel that his client was sick and only managed to appear in court.