Court Orders Journalist to be Remanded in Prison

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Mr. Luka Binniyat,   Former Kaduna bureau chief, Vanguard Newspapers
Mr. Luka Binniyat,
Former Kaduna bureau chief, Vanguard Newspapers

On July 12, 2017, Justice Bashir Sukola of the Kaduna State High Court ordered that Mr. Luka Binniyat, former Kaduna Bureau Chief for Vanguard newspapers, be remanded in prison over allegations of breach of public peace and false publication brought before it by the Kaduna State Government.

Luka, who arrived the courtroom with the aid of crutches due to injuries he sustained in an accident, pleaded not guilty to the charges and after his counsel, James Kanyip had made an application that he should be granted bail, Justice Sukola ordered that the journalists be remanded in prison custody till July 20 when he will rule on the bail application filed by the counsel.

The police had on February 6, 2017 charged Luka to a Magistrate Court over allegations that he reported falsely in the Vanguard newspaper of January 24, 2017 that five students of the College of Education, Gidan-Waya had been murdered by Fulani herdsmen. He was charged with breach of public peace and injurious falsehood punishable under Sections 114 and 393 of the penal code laws of Kaduna State.

The Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Yusuf, had granted Luka bail on a N200,000 bond and a surety in like sum and who must be a resident possessing landed property with a Certificate of Occupancy within the jurisdiction of the court.

Luka faces a possible five year jail term if convicted as the state penal code prescribes up to three years imprisonment for breach of public peace and two years for false reporting, or injurious falsehood.