Two Leadership Newspaper reporters docked, released

… As FG charges them with felony

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA – Incensed over what it termed “vexatious publication”, the Federal Government, Tuesday, docked two reporters of the Leadership Newspaper, Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.

In a 10-count amended charge it entered both against the media outfit and the embattled reporters yesterday, the government alleged that they committed felony to wit: “forging of document titled Bromide of the Presidential Directive and place same on the front page of Leadership Newspaper of April 3, 2013.”

FG alleged that the accused persons knew that the said document was false, but published same, “with the intent that it may in any way be used or acted upon as genuine and thereby committed an offence and punishable under section 467 of the Criminal Code Act Cap ‘C’ 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

Besides, it told the court that the accused persons conspired amongst themselves and committed felony by forging/making of a false document, having on it the Seal, Signet or Sign Manual which purports that it was a presidential directive from the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 516, 461 (1) (b), 467 (3) (a), 468 of the Criminal Code Act Cap ‘C’ 38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Though the Nigeria Police Force which is prosecuting the case for the federal government, hitherto listed four accused persons in the previous charge it filed against the Newspaper house on April 12, however, it yesterday told the court that one of the reporters, Taiwo Ogunmilo Omilani was at large.

Meantime, the planned arraignment of the accused persons suffered a set-back yesterday owing to the inability of the prosecuting counsel, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Joseph Nwadike to furnish them with copies of the charge against them.

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