Members of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) weekend visited the detained Barr. Jonah Okah, the former Speech Writer to former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, over his ongoing trial over alleged criminal defamation, saying the charges are misplaced and should be replaced with civil wrong.
The CLO members , who visited Barr Jonah Okah at Okaka Prison in Yenagoa, said though his ongoing trial seems to have been hijacked by some politicians despite the state government’s 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 yesterday and signed by its state chairman, Chief Nengi James, noted that since the case became public knowledge, the civil liberties organisation has been following the matter with keen interest and it’s constrained to draw the attention of the public, particularly, the Nigerian Police Force on the following issues.
He said, ” We are worried by the interference of 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 continued 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 delayed is justice denied. We call on the media and other civil society groups to partner with the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) to follow up the matter to it’s conclusion.”