Court strikes out suit by Kwara governor’s aide against Nat’l Pilot

A magistrate court sitting in Ilorin has struck out the suit of defamation instituted by the Kwara state governor’s aide, Mr Fafoluyi Micheal, popularly called Solace, against the National Pilot Newspaper and its reporter, Ahmed Ajikobi.

Managing director of the paper, Alhaji Billy Adedamola, representing the company and its reporter, Ahmed Ajikobi, have in the last 7 months been standing trial before the court following the suit instituted against them by the governor’s aide.

The counsel representing the news medium, Michael Owonishola, had at the previous sittings moved three applications among which is the striking out of the matter on the ground that the magistrate court lack jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Delivering the ruling Monday, the magistrate court which doubles as the revenue court, presided over by magistrate Shade Lawal granted the application, delivering the ruling in favour of the defendants.

In the ruling that lasted for few minutes, the court admitted that the offence of the cyber stalking can only be tried at the Federal High Court, hence, bringing it to the magistrate court is frivolous.

The medium’s managing director/editor-in-chief, Alhaji Adedamola, while speaking on the development, appreciated God and the readers of the paper, who he said, stood their ground to ensure victory is won.

He said: “I thank everyone and congratulate management and staff of National Pilot, our numerous readers and viewers of our TV. I want to commend the magistrate for upholding the truth, justice and independent and integrity of the judiciary over the matter.

“The victory is for all lovers of the press and those who are fighting for freedom. We’ll continue to do our job as dictated by the constitution and hold government accountable to the people not minding danger to our lives. We won’t stop rendering social responsibility services.”

Also, former chief press secretary to former Governor Bukola Saraki, Alhaji Moshood Adebimpe, advocated for strong relationship between the government and the media practitioners adding that not all cases should be taken to court before it is resolved.

He urged the people managing the government media to see court as the last option in settling disputes.

“We speak for the less privileged, for the downtrodden, if there are issues, I believe it is better we sit down to discuss rather than going to court. The suit is coming from someone who is a professional colleague,” he said.

Counsel representing the newspper expressed satisfaction over the ruling saying court, in its power, granted the preliminary objections earlier filed.

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