Kwara vs National Pilot: Court fixes May 13 for ruling on jurisdiction 

The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, Monday, fixed May 13 to deliver ruling on the case involving the Kwara state governor and the National Pilot newspaper. 

The state governor’s aide, Olayinka Fafoluyi, had accused National Pilot and its reporter, Ahmed Ajikobi of defamation and at the last adjourned date, the medium asked the court to strike the suit out for lack of jurisdiction and proper filing of processes. 

The adjournment has further heightened within the governor’s corridor and members of the fourth estate of the realm who were already in anticipation of the court verdict. 

At the resumed hearing, Monday, the National Pilot newspaper was represented by its Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Alhaji Billy Adedamola, and the reporter.

The court, which was presided over by Chief Magistrate Shade Lawal, apologised to the counsels on both sides. She said the ruling on the jurisdiction and other applications are not ready, blaming it on Sallah break.

The court with the parties involved in the case agreed to come back on 13th of May for ruling.

Counsel representing the reporter, Abdullah Muhammed, said he has no option other than to seek for further adjournment since the court has pronounced that ruling on applications earlier moved are not ready. 

He acknowledged that the magistrate, at this time is busy considering the number of cases on his table that are equally begging for urgent and prompt attention.

On his part, Michael Owonishola, who represented the medium, corroborated his colleague, saying the matter was adjourned for the ruling of the preliminary objection.

He said the preliminary objections had about three grounds bothering on the fact that the complainant failed to file the process in compliance with due process of law.

Through the preliminary objection, he revealed that they raised issue of locus standi and jurisdiction, adding that the court doesn’t have legal right over cyber offences following the section 61 of the cyber crime.

Fafoluyi had alleged “criminal conspiracy, inciting  public  disturbance, injurious falsehood, criminal  defamation  and cyber stalking, contrary to Section 97, 114, 393 and 392 of Penal Code Law and Section 27 and 24 of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition and Prevention ETC)  Act 2015,” against the medium and its reporter.