From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The police in Oyo State have arraigned a former federal lawmaker, Mr. Kamil Akinlabi, who represented Oyo Federal Constituency in the National Assembly between 2007 and 2015, over an alleged defamatory publication against the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
The publication alleged that Oba Adeyemi was responsible for most of the criminal activities in Oyo town such as, rituals and planting of bomb in Oyo town.
Akinlabi was, however, arraigned before Oyo State High Court sitting in Oyo town on the alleged libellous publication. He was arraigned along with two Oyo traditional chiefs, Jacob Oluokun and Ishola Ajiboye before Justice Bayo Taiwo.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. J.I. Ebusereme, preferred four-count charge of conspiracy, misdemeanour, defamation and attempted breach of peace against the defendants. The first count alleged that the defendants and others now at large on January 31, 2016 committed an act of conspiracy, demeanour with and defamation of character.
The second count alleged that they published a defamatory statement in a national daily (not Daily Sun), which alleged Oba Adeyemi to have committed a crime and bombing of the environment. The third count stated that the accused on the same day conspired to commit demeanour capable of breaching the peace of the society. The suspects were also accused of conducting themselves in a manner capable of breaching peace and tranquility in Oyo town.
However, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against them.
The defence counsel, Abiodun Abdulraheem, who relied on a point of law, applied orally for a bail for the accused, noting that the accused came voluntarily to court based on their personality. He prayed the court to grant them bail with liberal condition because the first accused was a former federal lawmaker and the other two accused are aged 78 and 71 years, saying the offence against his clients was bailable.
But the prosecuting counsel, Ebusereme, opposed the oral application for bail on the grounds that the application for bail should be formal, saying: “We are opposing the bail because it was orally applied for and bail conditions should not be based on personality and age of the accused. They should be made to face the law. We pray the court for an accelerated hearing.”
The presiding judge, Justice Bayo Taiwo, however, granted the accused bail based on self-recognition and for voluntarily coming to the court without been served. He adjourned the case to August 30 for hearing.