COURT CONVICTS ACTIVIST OVER CRIMINAL DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER

By Godson Ikiebey-

A High Court of the federal capital territory (FCT) has convicted an activist, Ibrahim Wala, popularly known as I G Wala.

Justice Yusuf Halilu found Wala guilty on three out of the four charges filed against him by the Inspector General of Police(IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

He was found guilty of unlawful assembly, public incitement and criminal defamation of character.

Justice Halilu, however, dismissed the charge of criminal intimidation for lack of merit.

Wala was arraigned following a petition filed by the chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Abdullahi Mukhtar, alleging that the activist uses his Facebook page to incite the public against him and defame his integrity and that of the commission he heads.

On the charge of unlawful assembly, Wala was found guilty of using his organisation, the Citizens Action To Take Back Nigeria (CATBAN), to form an unlawful assembly. The judge ruled that the organisation was unregistered.

The judge said the prosecution “has been able to establish the offense of making an unlawful assembly”.

He also found Wala guilty of public incitement, an offense contrary to section 114 of the penal code which deals with the breach of public peace.

Justice Halilu also agreed with the prosecution that Wala criminally defamed the chairman of NAHCON, Abdullahi Mohammed, after he alleged that the NAHCON boss “made N3 billion for himself” from the 2017 Hajj operations.

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