Defamation: Court refuses prayer to remand Kwara Vanguard correspondent 


A Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ilorin Wednesday granted bail to Kwara  state correspondent of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Demola Akinyemi, over a case of alleged criminal conspiracy, defamation and falsehood leveled against him by an Ilorin based trader, Alhaja Mariam Babatunde Arolahun. 

Arolahun, a trader in the popular Oja -Tutun market, Ilorin, had petitioned the police, alleging Akinyemi of “criminal conspiracy, defamation and falsehood” over a publication in the paper’s online medium titled “Kwara market women threaten to protest naked over colleague’s mysterious death.”

The story was published in the paper’s online medium of January 30th 2024. 

It would be recalled that the nominal complainant had allegedly had an altercation with another trader, Medinat in the same Oja-tuntu market, Ilorin over misunderstanding that erupted between the duo over a shop allocated to them by the authorities of Ilorin West local government after which the co- trader later died. 

Following the publication of the story, the complainant petitioned the police alleging conspiracy, defamation and falsehood.

Consequently the police Tuesday invited Akinyemi and arraigned him before Magistrate Court, Wednesday.

In his submission before the court presided over by magistrate Balkis Baraje, the prosecution, represented by Corporal Abdulraheem Musa, urged the court not to grant the defendant bail, saying the police had not concluded the investigation and that the defendant might jump bail.

He said in the event the court decided to grant the defendant bail, stringent conditions should be attached to it.

But counsel to the defendant, A. C Okafor and H A Musa argued that the offences for which Akinyemi was arraigned in court is a minor offence and assured the court that the defendant will not jump bail. 

Okafor said, “Bail is at the discretion of the court and should be used judiciously.”

He said the police First Information Report (FIR) with which the defendant was brought to court ” is mere information and the defendant is innocent until proven otherwise by the court.”