An Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Kubwa has again adjourned the trial of Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, a reporter with the online newspaper, Premium Times, who was charged with stealing classified government documents.
The reporter was arrested and arraigned in August following the publication of a story by his medium, which he authored, about a report the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris submitted to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (then Acting President) on the investigation of the former Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) on the DSS siege to the National Assembly. Samuel was asked to disclose the source of the story.
When the matter came up for hearing on August 15, 2018, the court granted Samuel bail in the sum of N500,000 and adjourned the case to November 7, 2018 for hearing. Samuel and his counsel went to court on November 7, only to be informed that the case had been adjourned to January 30, 2019 because the Magistrate, Abdulwahab Mohammed, was attending to an urgent matter at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The court clerk also added that the prosecutor had sought for an adjournment because he was attending to another case elsewhere.
Samuel Ogundipe was arrested on August 14, 2018 at about 300 p.m by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police after he honoured an invitation by SARS to come to its headquarters in Abuja.
Premium Time’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Ms Azeezat Adedigba, were also initially arrested, manhandled and briefly detained by the police before they were released.
He was later taken to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters where he was detained and later charged to court. The Police also froze his salary bank account with Ecobank.