Legal Nigeria

Facebook Comment: Court grants KASU lecturer bail

A Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Kaduna on Monday granted bail to Kaduna State University, KASU, lecturer, Dr. John Danfulani, who allegedly posted an inciting and hateful comment on facebook.
Reading out his ruling on bail application, the presiding magistrate, Awalu Musa, said since the case before the court was a bailable offence, there was no reason to deny the accused bail.
He, however, granted bail to the lecturer in the sum of N5 million with two sureties with N2.5 million each.
He said each of the sureties should be director with the state civil service.
Earlier, the prosecuting counsel, Ibrahim Jamil urged the court to allow the lecturer to remain police custody for three weeks pending when investigation on the matter before the court is concluded.
The court had on Friday detained the lecturer and asked the prosecutor to complete investigation within the weekend, but the lawyer in his argument submitted they couldn’t carry out any investigation because, corporate offices and telecom service providers closed at the weekend.
His words: “The investigation has to involve telecommunication service operators who are usually shut on weekends.”
It was against this background that he told the court that since investigations are just about to begin On Monday, the prosecutors should be given three weeks to round off investigation.
He also pleaded that the court should allow the accused person be remanded in police custody for continuation of investigation and to enable the investigators easy access to the accused person in the event he would be required to take them to places during investigation.
The defence counsel to Danfulani, Barrister Gamiel Kore, who led 12 lawyers to the court, vehemently opposed the prosecution’s application to detain the lecturer for another three weeks.
He posited that the order of the court was for the prosecutors to conclude investigations between Friday and Sunday, which they did not do and didn’t apologise.
According to defence counsel, the prosecutors only gave excuses.
“We all know that telecom service providers operate all days of the week,” he added.
While submitting that since the prosecutors have clearly disobeyed the court, he urged the court to grant the accused bail .
“It is an attempt on the part of prosecution to punish innocent accused for an offence he has not be convicted of,” he said.
“Investigation is not a factor to be considered in granting bail.
The counsel stressed that “the accused is a free man who walked to the police voluntarily to present himself over alleged Facebook comment only to be remanded.”
He equally told the court that there is no justice and fairness if the court allows Danfulani to be remanded, adding, if the prosecution is not ready, he should be granted bail on legal terms and provide competent sureties.
The case was adjourned till 7 March, 2016 for further hearing.