By: Mayen Etim, Kaduna
Kaduna State Government (KDSG) yesterday said that it withdrew its case between Luka Binniyat, immediate past Kaduna correspondent of Vanguard newspaper from a Kaduna Chief Magistrate Court, to a Kaduna State High Court, because “we will get more justice at the High Court.”
The case came for mentioning yesterday at the Kaduna State High Court 10, presided by Justice Bashir Sukola, but was adjourned for the June 1st, 2017.
The case had been adjourned four times at the Chief Magistrate Court 1, Kaduna since February 2nd after the reporter was first arraigned and remanded in prison custody before meeting his bail condition.
Fielding question from Journalists after the adjournment at the court premises yesterday, Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), who is the counsel to Kaduna State government, Barr. Bayero Dari, said it was at the request of the State that charges were filed before the High Court.
Dari said Counsel to the Accused person had filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the High Court.
He said: “We are of the opinion that if the jurisdiction of a Court is being challenged; it has to be settled first before charges raised against the accused person and his plea taken to be charged.
“It’ is choice of Court. The State felt that it will get more justice at the High Court. So the First Information Report (FIR) in the Magistrate Court was withdrawn while a Two-count charge was filed before the High Court. So it came up today as you can see.
“Earlier the accused was taken to the Magistrate Court for cognizance. That’s at the point after initial investigation, so it wasn’t for charges.
“We took him there so that the Court will take cognizance that an offence had been committed and that the State intends to proceed against him. And meanwhile so that the accused rights and privileges will not be tempered with. That’s why we arraigned him formerly in Court today,” he said
On his part, lead Counsel to Luka Binniyat (Defendant), Barr. James Kanyip said:
“This is a fresh charge though based on the same offences that the Accused person was charged with in the Magistrate Court. But since the one in the Magistrate Court has been withdrawn – the First Information Report (FIR) withdrawn by the State Government, so we now say that a fresh Two-count charge have been filed in the High Court,” he said.
Barr. Kanyip stated further that the first charge against his client is based on Section 114 which borders on Public Incitement; and the second one is based on Section 393 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State which has to do with Injurious Falsehood.
“So he’s being arraigned before the High Court now for allegations of Public Incitement and Injurious Falsehood against the State. These are the Two-count charges,” he added.
When asked why his client was being charged to Court instead of the medium he represented. Barr James Kanyip said, “I don’t want to delve into the matter before the Court since I don’t have power to do that now,” he said.
However, the presiding Judge, Justice Bashir Sukola granted Counsel to the Defendant’s prayer and urged him to file his notice in good time. The matter was adjourned to June 1, 2017, for Preliminary hearing.