Court Clears LEADERSHIP Reporter Of Incitement Charge

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BY ISAIAH BENJAMIN, Kaduna

The Magistrate Court 1 sitting in Kaduna has dismissed the suit filed by Kaduna State Commissioner of Police against the Bureau Chief of LEADERSHIP Newspapers,Midat Joseph.

Recall that Joseph was arrested on Wednesday 19th April, 2017 and detained by the men of the Nigerian Police force, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and later released on bail  by the same court after spending two nights with  the Police.

It would also be recalled that Midat was arrested for  a comment on a Whatsapp platform group chat where he had contributed to a conversation.

He was detained on 19th Wednesday at the metropolitan police station also known as metro police by the CID from where he was transferred to the Kaduna Police Command Headquarters and also held overnight by the CID in their Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) cell from where he was charged to court for prosecution.

According to the First Information Report (FIR) obtained by our correspondent, Midat and one other person were charged with criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance and injurious falsehood.

But, when the matter came up for hearing yesterday without the appearance of the prosecutors who had failed to appear in court for the first and second time the case was mentioned, the presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Yusuf struck out the suit for lack of diligence prosecution.

The judge decision followed an application from the counsels to Midat, Barristers James Kanyip Esq and Maxwell Kyom Esq for the matter to be struck out as a result of non-appearance of the prosecutors.

Messrs James Kanyip and Maxwell Kyom, who relied on section 165 of criminal procedure court law of Kaduna State, asked the court to strike out the suit. The counsels also asked for an order restraining the Police or its agent to arrest Midat on the same matter.

The judge who,however, declined to grant the restraining order, discharged and acquitted Midat and the other accused person for the offence they were being accused of.

Reacting to the judgment, Midat Joseph who was in tears, expressed gratitude to God, the Southern Kaduna team of lawyers, the management and staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers, media colleagues, civic right organization for standing by him  during the period of his trials.

He expressed confidence in the judiciary, adding that “the judiciary is indeed the last hope of the common man. The lies against me have been buried and may the name of the lord be praised.