After staying in detention for Seven days, Mr. Friday Ogungbemi, Publisher of Policy Magazine, who was arrested last Wednesday by the Department of State Services, DSS has been released on bail by the Chief Magistrate Court in Lokoja, Fresh Angle International can authoritatively report.
Ogungbemi who was arrested on Wednesday November 30 was granted bail by Chief Magistrate Alhassan Husani with the sum of N20, 000 and a surety of like some.
The Publisher was brought before the court at about 4:00pm Tuesday December 6 by the Department of State Services.
The Prosecuting Counsel who is a solicitor from Kogi State Ministry of Justice, Mohammed Abaji wanted the court to take cognizance of an offence under section 143(C) and D of the criminal procedure code, pointing out that Friday Bolarin Ogungbemi “on or about 23rd November -15th December 2016 published a defamatory publication concerning Edward Onoja, Chief of Staff and his Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello tagged overzealous Chief of Staff, acts governor extraordinaire and also impute that Edward Onoja is over ambitious and power drunk Chief of Staff”.
According to the complainant, the said publication intended to harm the reputation of the said Edward Onoja.
The Prosecuting Counsel in his application prayed the court to take cognizance of the offence of defamation contrary to section 393 of the penal code.
Our Kogi State Correspondent reports that the Chief Magistrate adjourned the case to 20th of December for further hearing.
The arrest of the journalist last week had sparked public interest. Some Human Rights group and the Nigerian Union of Journalists had strongly appealed to the DSS and Gov. Bello to release Ogungbemi unconditionally. The union also resolved to boycott government activities in the state to press home their appeal.