“The withdrawal is in conformity with the provisions of the constitution for the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press.”
The Nasarawa State Police Command on Thursday withdrew a case it had instituted against a correspondent of Daily Trust Newspapers, Hir Joseph.
Mr. Joseph was on May 13, arraigned in a Lafia Magistrates’ Court II for allegedly anchoring a news where his newspaper alleged that some women police in the command participated in the #BringBackOurGirls protest.
The protest was organised by various women organisations in Lafia, the state capital, following the abduction of the over 250 school girls on April 14, in Chibok, Borno.
Maidawa Adam, a Superintended of Police, announced the withdrawal of the suit at the resumed hearing of the case.
Mr. Adam told the court that he had been directed by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ibrahim Idris, to withdraw the case.
He said that the command had realised the need to sustain the cordial working relationship between the Nigerian Police Force and the media, being the fourth estate of the realm, and urged the magistrate to grant the application.
The counsel to the accused, Mohammed Danjuma, said that the withdrawal of the suit demonstrated the maturity of the police in the state.
“The withdrawal is in conformity with the provisions of the constitution for the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press,” Mr. Danjuma said.
The magistrate, Yakubu Egga, granted the application.
The state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Dan Yakubu, who was in court, hailed the decision of the police to withdraw the case against the journalist.
He commended the commissioner of police in the state for his maturity and promised that journalists covering the state would continue to support the police through objective and balance reportage of activities of the command.