A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday adjourned the case of defamation and cyberstalking suit filed by a former lawmaker, Ned Nwoko against human rights activist Omoyele Sowore and an online platform, SaharaReporters.
The case was adjourned to June 14, 2022, as a result of improper service by the Nigeria Police.
The case was adjourned following an application for the amendment of the charge by the counsel for the Nigeria Police, Inegbe after he had smuggled SaharaReporters Media Group Incorporated as a new and 3rd defendant into the case.
He told the court that the 1st defendant was a director of SaharaReporters Media Group Incorporated.
The prosecution counsel after realising that he could not serve the 2nd and 3rd defendants, therefore, asked the 1st defendant to take a plea of guilty or not guilty on behalf of the defendants he had smuggled into the case.
The defence counsel, Tope Temokun, while raising objection to the application said a formal application was needed for such amendment, adding that it must also get the permission of the court.
Temokun objected to the request by the prosecution for 1st defendant to take a plea of guilty or not guilty on behalf of the 2nd and 3rd defendant (SaharaReporters and SaharaReporters Media Group Incorporated) respectively.
He argued that the service of SaharaReporters Media Group Incorporated should not be served on Sowore, owing to the fact that 1st defendant cannot take service on behalf of 2rd and 3rd defendants.
He maintained that asking his client to be served and take a plea of guilty or not on behalf of 2nd and 3rd defendants was a clear violation of the provisions of Section 390 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA).
After a heated argument by the prosecution and defence lawyers on the matter, the trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite, therefore, directed that 1st defendant take the service of 2nd and 3rd defendants.
At this point, Sowore protested and told the court that he had resigned as director of SaharaReporters Media Group Incorporated in 2019 when he contested for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He added that he has had nothing to do with the organisation, noting that he had been restricted to Abuja in the treasonable felony case preferred against him by the Nigerian government.
The judge, therefore, adjourned the case to June 14, 2022 for arraignment.