Alleged Missing $4.6m: CLO Members Visit Sylva’s Former Aide In Prison

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…fault charges of alleged criminal defamation

Members of the Civil liberties organization (CLO) weekend visited the detained Barr. Jonah Okah, the former Speech Writer to the Former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva over his ongoing trial over alleged criminal defamation, saying the charges is misplaced and should be replaced with civil wrong.

The CLO members, who Barrister Jonah Okah at Okaka Prison in Yenagoa, said though the ongoing trial of Barr. Jonah Okah seems to have been hijacked by some politicians despite state Government clear position on non-involvement, the ongoing case involves two civil servants, Barrister Jonah Okah, a State Counsel and Richard Etonye, Government House Accountant on an issue of defamation of character and by its content a civil wrong.

The CLO, in a statement issued on Tuesday and signed by its State Chairman, Chief Nengi James, noted that since the case became a public knowledge, the civil liberties organization has been following the matter with keen interest and we are constrained to draw the attention of the public particularly the Nigerian Police Force on the following issues,” We are worried on the interference by some top politicians in Bayelsa State on the matter which bother on two civil servants over an alleged defamatory Facebook publication”.

“We appreciate the stand of Government on the matter by disassociating itself from the allegation of aiding the arrest and continue detention of Barrister Jonah Okah in the Okaka Prison through its Commissioner for Information and Orientation, we hope that political appointees in Government will desist from involving themselves in this matter as alleged by the general public. “

“We note that since the matter is in Court at the moment, we are therefore constrained to restrain ourselves to the findings and decision of the Magistrate Court, while we hope that the Court will give it an accelerated hearing; justice delay is justice denial. We call on the media and other civil society groups to partner with the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) to follow up the matter to it conclusion.”

“Finally, we acknowledged that the judiciary is an independent body and the manifest interference by highly placed persons will be a threat to the due administration of justice. It is in the light of the above, that we call on the State Judiciary to take reasonable step to resist undue meddling by top politicians of the State in the trial of Mr. Jonah Okah.”

 

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