Journalist Arraigned for Alleged Defamatory Facebook Post, Granted Bail

Mr. Nengi Owei-Ilagha

Mr. Nengi Owei-Ilagha, a journalist in Bayelsa State, South-south Nigeria, was on January 16, 2023, arraigned at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, the State capital, for allegedly posting defamatory statements on Facebook against Mr. Emmanuel Gakko, a member of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC) in the state.

The Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo filed a three-count charge against the journalist.

When the matter was called and the charges read to him, Nengi pleaded not guilty to the charge.

His counsel, Godfrey Otiotio, moved an application for bail saying the journalist was earlier granted administrative bail by the police and was ready to present himself for trial.

The prosecution counsel, M.Y. Benabo, did not oppose the bail but asked the court to urge the journalist not to make comments on social media that could prejudice the outcome of the case.

Mr Otiotio pledged that Nengi would not make any comment related to the case on social media.

The judge, ruling on the application, admitted the journalist to N1 million bail and one surety.