By; Amos Tauna $ Beneduct Sunday, Kaduna.
The Co-Founder of Chocolate City, Audu Maikori was on Monday arraigned before a Kaduna Chief Magistrate Court 1 Ibrahim Taiwo Road on a two count charge of attempt to incite the general public through false information contrary to Section 24 of Cyber Crime Act Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2015.
Audu Maikori who was arraigned alongside his driver Simon Joseph were later granted bail to the sums of N100,00 each on self-recognition.
Moving for application for the bail, the lead Counsel to Audu Maikori, Barr. Reuben James said the first accused person is of good reputation and on personal recognition who will not temper with police investigation and will always make himself available throughout the trial.
He also said that Audu Maikori should be granted bail because during his first arrest in Lagos and his subsequent bail by the police, he always reported to the police and fulfilled conditions of the bail.
“My Lordship, the accused person after he was re-arrested on Friday suffered ill-health and was taken to the police clinic. We tendered the police report in respect to that and subsequently asked the court to grant him bail based on his ill-health.
“We want also to bring to the notice of Your Lordship that the accused person is a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and should be granted bail on liberal ground,” the lead Counsel pleaded.
Responding, the lead Prosecutor, Barr. Bayero Dari, said he was not going to oppose the bail application of the lead Counsel. He however called on the Court to attached stringent conditions to the bail terms.
In his ruling, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Yusuf, said having listened to the two sides and looking at the bail condition before him, the two accused persons are thereby granted bail to the sums of N100,000 each and on personal recognition.
The case was however adjourned to the 20th of April, 2017, for mentioning.
Speaking to journalists outside the court, one of the Counsels to Audu Maikori, Barr Mark Jacob, said there was no case against the accused person and the team of lawyers are ready to proof that.
In his own remarks the Prosecutor; Barr Bayero Dari, said before the next adjourned date, the prosecution would have properly arraigned the accused before a Federal High Court who has jurisdiction over the case.
Meanwhile, The Senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, has demanded for the immediate release of Maikori, describing the latest arrest and incarceration of the
Chocolate City boss as an affront to constitutional
“The case of Audu is becoming a stain and embarrassment to our country as a constitutional democracy,” Mr. Sani said in a statement Monday morning. “He should be released or charged to court and without extra-legal interference.”
The demand came hours after Mr. Maikori’s associate and
lawyer, John Danfulani, said the label executive took ill at the police facility where he was held and was rushed to the hospital Sunday night.
“He had since regained his consciousness and fine now,” Mr.
Danfulani said on telephone. “He just had a brief respiratory crisis and had been returned to custody.”
Mr. Sani, a civil rights activist, said allegations of hate speech and incitement must not be used as a “smokescreen to stifle dissent or persecute people for their right to freely express their opinion.”
“Civil liberties and freedom must not be strangulated under the guise of security exigencies. As a democracy, we must learn to balance our obligation to respect constitutional rights and the urgency to tackle a persistent
danger,” he said.
Mr. Sani urged concerned authorities to channel their attention and resources towards holistic eradication of
pastoralists’ clashes across the country.
“Armed herdsmen represent a collective danger that needs a
collective response,” Mr. Sani said. “An onslaught against
armed herdsman is what is needed and not an onslaught
against freedom of speech.