The Federal High Court, Yenagoa, has fixed May 3, 2023, for the re-arraignment of a Bayelsa-based journalist, Mr Nengi Owei-Ilagha, for allegedly making defamatory posts against Mr Emmanuel Chiefson on Facebook.
The re-arraignment, slated for Thursday, could not hold due to the absence of Police prosecutor, Mr Monday Benabo.
Owei-Ilagha was on Jan.16, 2023, arraigned by Police in Bayelsa which filed three-count charge, marked charge No FHC/YNG/88C/2022 before Justice Emmanuel Gakko.
Learnt that the re-arraignment follows a transfer of the former trial judge, Bakko.
Chiefson is a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa.
Owei-Ilagha’s counsel, Mr Godfrey Otiotio, said that the prosecuting counsel had informed him in a telephone conversation that he was outside the court’s jurisdiction and unable to attend court.
Otiotio therefore prayed the court to grant an adjournment on the case.
Responding to the oral application for adjournment, the new trial judge, Justice Isa Dashen, fixed May 3 for arraignment and noted that the bail earlier granted to the defendant by the former trial judge subsists.
The former trial judge had on Jan 16 admitted the media practitioner to bail of N1 million and one surety, preferably the same surety on the administrative bail earlier granted by the Police.