The Federal High Court in Kano on Thursday granted bail to a politician, Mahdi Shehu, arraigned for alleged defamation of the character of Katsina governor, Aminu Masari.
Mr Shehu had alleged that Mr Masari took N24 billion as security vote from the state’s Escrow Account domiciled in UBA and Fedility Bank between 2015 and 2018.
The charges against the accused person read: “That you, Mr Shehu between May to July 2020 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, while acting in concert and with intent to defame, insult, cause enmity, hatred, ill will, and damage to the reputation and integrity of governor of Katsina state and his executive cabinet.
“That you granted an interview at Freedom F.M and placed or caused the same interview to be placed on your Facebook page “Rescue Katsina Urgently” on the internet and falsely accused the governor and his commissioners of squandering over N24 billion security votes from Katsina state Escrow Account domiciled in UBA and Fedility Banks respectively between 2015 to 2018.
“The publication you had reason to believe to be false and thereby committed the offence of cyber stalking contrary to and punishable under section 393 of the panel code section 24 (1) (a) and (b) of the cyber crimes prohibition, prevention Act 2015.”
Mr Shehu had pleaded not guilty to all the charges filed against him by the Katsina State Government.
The judge, Ambrose Allagoa, ordered the accused remanded in the custody of the Nigeria Correctional Service pending fulfilment of his bail conditions.
He was granted bail of N10 million and one surety in like sum. The court said the surety must be a resident of Kano who has a traceable landed property.
Mr Shehu has now met the bail conditions.
The case was adjourned to May 19 for hearing.
The prosecution counsel, Simon Lough, a deputy commissioner of police, said bail is a temporary freedom and expressed hope that the accused person will honour the conditions and return to court for the continuation of the case.
On his part, the defendant counsel, Job Israel, said he is hopeful that justice will prevail at the end, especially now that the matter has been transferred to the high court in Kano.
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