Bayelsa Police Command Drops Defamation Charge Against Journalist

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Mr. Nengi Owei-Ilaghi

The Bayelsa State Police Command has dropped the defamation charge filed against Yenagoa-based journalist and author, Mr. Nengi Owei-Ilaghi, also known as “Pope Pen”, 10-months after he was arraigned for alledgedly a member of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in the State. The journalist had been charged in January 2023 before a Federal High Court in Yenagoa for allegedly posting defamatory statements on Facebook against Mr. Emmanuel Chiefson, a member of the PCRC.

The Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo had filed a three-count charge against the journalist on January 16, 2023 with the suit marked FHC/YNG/88C/2022.

The prosecutor, Mr. Monday Benabo, had previously sought an adjournment to explore the possibility of an out-of-court resolution. In a significant turn of event, on October 3, 2023, Benabo announced his willingness to withdraw the charges, signalling a resolution to the legal dispute.

Justice Isa Dashen, who inherited the case following the transfer of Justice Emmanuel Gakko, subsequently struck out the charges.