A journalist in Bayelsa State, South-south Nigeria, Nengi Owei-Ilagha, was on Monday arraigned at the Federal High Court Yenagoa for allegedly making defamatory posts on Facebook against a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in the state.
The member of the police relations committee has been identified as Emmanuel Chiefson.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo filed a three-count charge against the journalist before a judge, Emmanuel Gakko.
The defendant Mr Owei-Ilagha, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
His counsel, Godfrey Otiotio, moved an application for bail. He said the defendant was earlier granted administrative bail by the police and was ready to present himself for trial.
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Speaking on the application, the prosecution counsel, M.Y. Benabo, said he was not opposed to the bail. But he, however, asked the court to urge the defendant not to make comments on social media that could prejudice the outcome of the case.
The defence counsel, Mr Otiotio, pledged that his client would not make any comment related to the case on social media.
Ruling on the bail application, the judge admitted the journalist to N1 million bail and one surety.
Mr Gakko said the media has played and continue to play positive roles in society but harped that it is unlawful for the media to preempt the outcome of cases before the judiciary.
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