El-Rufai vs Dickson: Okoye Takes Over Defence As Prosecution Adds Fresh Charges, Develops Cold Feet

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By;ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna.
The case between a Kaduna based Journalists, Jacob Onjewu Dickson vs the State Governor Nair Ahmad el-Rufai Tuesday took a twist with fresh charge added to the initial case filed by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police on April 29, 2016 before Magistrate Emmanuel Yusuf, just the human right lawyer, Festus Okoye took over the defence of the case.
 
The old First Information Report (FIR) contained only two-count
charges bordering on “False Personation and Inciting Disaffection to the Government of Kaduna State”.
Prosecution Counsel, led by Kaduna State Director of Public
Prosecution, Dari Bayero had at the last session appealed to the Magistrate to substitute the previous FIR with two-count charges with the latest which had an additional charge of Criminal Defamation of Character added.
His plea suprisingly was granted by the Magistrate and the accused who was not represented by a counsel at that seating, could not object the substitution.
At the last appearance on Tuesday November 22, Barrister Festus Okoye took over the defense for the accused from Barrister Timothy Bonnet who technically withdrew from the case by failing to appear for session.
When the matter was mentioned for hearing, the prosecution was absent and the case had been adjourned tentatively till January 16, 2017.
In an interview with newsmen outside the court room, Festus Okoye who was represented by lawyer from his chamber, Barrister Mohammed Kabiru Abdullahi said that his initial instinct was to call for the case to be struck out as a result of the absence of the prosecution but he was later informed that Bayero had taken excuse that he would be absent as at when the matter was called.
But some were quick to point out that appearance of Barrister Okoye in the case jolted the prosecuting counsel and he is developing cold feet, looking for a way to wrigle out of the case.
However, Bayeri was spotted within the court premises before proceedings commenced earlier on.
It would be recalled that Dickson was invited for a meeting  with the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police on April 28, 2016 by 9am on a publications on an online news medium; AUTHENTIC News Daily, from where he was detained all day at the State Intelligence Bureau before being transferred to a Police cell same night.
The following morning, he was hurriedly arraigned and sent to the Kaduna Convict Prison without option of legal representative or bail where he spent seven days before he was granted bail through the effort of Kaduna Council of Nigerian union of Journalists under the leadership of Garba Muhammad.

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