‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


Daily Courier – The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out a two-count cyberstalking charges the Federal Government preferred against the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju.

The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Binta Nyako, terminated further proceedings in the matter, after the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), applied to withdraw the charge.

At the resumed hearing, the prosecuting counsel Mrs Yewande Cole told the court that she had been directed by the Attorney-General to withdraw the case.

“I have the instruction of the Attorney-General to withdraw the amended charge of two counts for further review. This means that the court will strike out the case and when we are ready to go on, we will come back and refile it”, Cole explained.

Counsel to Suraju, Mr Muiz Banire (SAN), asked the court to acquit his client saying that, it is a natural cause of action, following such an application for withdrawal.

“It is law as contained in Section 355 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) that where such an application is made, the court will acquit the defendant”, Banire submits.

He also asked the court to order the release of the N7 million bond, to secure the bail of his client and award N1 million cost to him.

In a short brief ruling, Justice Binta Nyako, discharged Suraju and also discharged the N7 million bail bond.

Justice Nyako, however, ordered the prosecution to pay N250,000 to the defendant, whenever the case was going to be refiled.

Suraju was docked before Justice Nyako on a 2-count amended charge bordering on alleged cyberstalking former Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Mohammed Adoke.

The case was filed against the human Rights boss by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

In count one of the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/370/2021, Suraju was accused of intentionally circulating an audio telephone interview between one Ms. Carlamaria Rumur, a reporter with RIA Reporter in Italy and Adoke via his twitter handle @HEDAagenda and Facebook handle @HEDAResourcecentre

This, the charge alleged he knew to be false, for the purpose of causing insult to Adoke and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act 2015 and punishable under the same section of the act.

In count two, the defendant was accused of committing the same offense in count one via his Facebook handle.