‘Ulcer’ Prevents Arraignment Of Gov Adeleke’s Aide In IGP’s Criminal Defamation Case

Muniru Raji

The arraignment of Muniru Raji, Special Adviser to Governor Ademola Adeleke on Political Matters, was stalled at the Federal High Court in Osogbo, Osun State, due to his absence.

The Inspector-General of Police had scheduled Wednesday’s proceedings to arraign Raji over alleged defamatory statements made against the former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Adebayo Adeleke.

When the case with suit number FHC/OS/60C/2024 was called before Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel, Raji’s counsel, Naim Adekilekun, informed the court of his client’s absence due to health reasons.

“The defendant was terribly sick and battling with chronic ulcer, hence he could not appear before the court for arraignment,” Adekilekun stated.

The plaintiff, who served under the previous administration of Adegboyega Oyetola, had filed a petition with the police alleging criminal defamation against Muniru Raji.

The petition accused Raji of falsely alleging during a radio programme that the plaintiff had secured a contract from the government of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and absconded with the contract sum without executing the project.

Meanwhile, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Oluwole Jimi-Bada, informed the court of his office’s intent to take over the case, citing Section 174 of the 1999 constitution.

However, the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Baokun Francis Osei, opposed the application, arguing that cyberstalking is a federal offence and that he was unaware of any Fiat (authority) from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

According to Osei, his findings revealed that no Fiat had been received by the Police Headquarters in Abuja from the office of the AGF. He argued that the section 174 being relied upon by Jimi-Bada is only applicable to the office of the AGF and that the issue of Fiat was premature at this stage, as no arraignment had taken place to give the court jurisdiction over the matter.

Justice Ayo-Emmanuel later adjourned the case to June 3, 2024, for a ruling on the arguments of the counsels.