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    HomemetroCourt orders Police to release belongings of Bayelsa Journalist, frowns at delay...

    Court orders Police to release belongings of Bayelsa Journalist, frowns at delay in trial

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    Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday ordered the authorities of the Nigerian Police to release with immediate effect the belongings of the Bayelsa Journalist and Chief Executive Officer of NaijaliveTV, Mienpamo Onitsha Saint who was arraigned for alleged Cyber Stalking and granted bail.

    Justice Nwite gave the order at the resumed hearing and trial of the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CR/492/2023 between the Inspector-General of Police as the complainant and Mienpamo Onitsha Saint as the defendant.

    The Presiding Judge order came after an oral application was made by the Defendant lead counsel, Benjamin S.Ogbara, Esq. over the reluctance of the Nigerian Police to release vital personal belongings of Onitsha Saint.

    But the Prosecuting Counsel, N.D. Eleodimuo Esq, raised an objection to the application for the release of the personal belongings of the accused.

    He claimed some of the belongings would be rendered as exhibits before the Court during the trial.

    But the defence counsel, Ogbara while faulting the claims of the Prosecuting Counsel, declared that none of the belongings were listed as exhibits to be rendered during the trial.

    Ogbara told the Court that the items identified as personal belongings include an iPhone XR, Techno Android phone, a Gold Writswatch, a Power Bank, Two Cordless Microphones, Phone Stabilisers, a Novena University Identification Card, Passport Photographs and a Bag.

    He pointed out that they wrote a letter to the Director, NPF- National Cyber Crime Centre on the need to release the personal belongings but they failed to honour their application.

    Justice Nwite, after hearing from the two counsels, however, ordered that the belongings that would not be used as exhibits should be released immediately.

    Justice Nwite however frowned at the delay in the commencement of the hearing and trial of the suit.

    The Prosecuting Counsel, Eleodimuo had told the Court that the witnesses listed by the prosecution are not in court due to unavoidable circumstances and sought the leave of the Court for an adjourned date.

    He tendered an apology to the Court and the Defence Counsel for the delay.

    the apology was accepted by the Defence team led by Ogbara.

    The Defence Counsel however drew the attention of the Court to the distance between Bayelsa State from which the accused reside and FCT, Abuja where the Court sits.

    The Bayelsa Journalist was arrested and arraigned on a three-count charge of alleged willful libel, threat, causing danger, and insult against the immediate past PAP Interim Administrator, Maj.Gen. Ndiomu.

    When the charges were read, the accused person pleaded not guilty.

    The charges state, in part, “That you Mienpamo Onitsha Saint…offence punishable under Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015” and “That you Mienpamo Onitsha Saint…offence punishable under Section 24 (2) (a) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”

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