A 37-year-old man, Biodun Baba, has been arraigned before an Ilorin magistrates’ court for allegedly denigrating Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on social media.
The offences bordered on criminal act, incitement, disturbance of public peace and injurious falsehood.
Baba was arraigned as a result of a complaint by Alhaji Jimoh Adesina, APC chairman of Kwara South, to the chambers of S. I. Solagberu.
Adesina accused Baba of printing and engraving matters known to be defamatory contrary to Sections 113, 114, 393, 394 of the Penal Code and Sections 883 and 204 of the Criminal Code.
When the case was called for mention before Magistrate Ahmad Ibrahim Dasuki, counsel to the complainant, Sikiru Solagberu, said his client wrote him a letter to withdraw the case.
Solagberu, who read the letter in the court, said he received the letter on July 26, informing him to withdraw the case against the accused from the court.
The lawyer cited Section 248 of the Criminal Procedure Act, Cap 41, Laws of the Federation 2004, to support the application for withdrawal.
He said the instruction of the complainant to withdraw the case was as a result of intervention by well meaning Nigerians.
Solagberu urged the court to grant his application for withdrawal of the case.
Counsel to the accused, Mr. Sambo Muritala, in his reply to the oral application, said his client would not object to the complainant’s letter to withdraw.
However, Muritala said: “Coming by way of proper application and affidavit will demonstrate the wish of the complainant to compound the said non compoundable offence,” adding that this would help the court in future.
Muritala submitted that the complaint was an abuse of court process and that it was frivolous.
Replying to the accused counsel’s submission, counsel to the complainant, Solagberu, argued that the complainant’s action was proper and not an abuse of court process.
He added that the suit was not a civil matter to warrant deposing to affidavit.
“There is nothing in the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act and Criminal Procedure Code that enjoins a complainant to depose to an affidavit before a case is withdrawn from the court,” Solagberu said.
He added that the complainant’s letter before the court had satisfied the conditions for withdrawal of cases of this nature.
He said: “If a party says he wants to withdraw in a criminal case, the court should use its instrumentality to assist the parties to withdraw.”
The magistrate adjourned the matter to August 3, for ruling.