The Publisher of Taraba Truth and Facts and Chief Executive Officer of Rock Fm 92.3, Jalingo, Oloye Ayodele Samuel, remained in detention at the Taraba state Police headquarters, Jalingo despite meeting his bail conditions.
The publisher was arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Jalingo, presided by his lordship, Garba S. Garba on a two count charge by the
Taraba state government through the office of the attorney general of the state.
The state government leveled charges of defamation and injurious falsehood, alleging that the publication by the Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper concerning the privatisation of the Mambilla Beaverages Company and the sale of the state’s Liaison office in Abuja is false and defamatory to the reputation of the Taraba state governor, Darius Dickson Ishaku.
However, the defendant, Ayodele Samuel pleaded not guilty to the two count charge, after which his counsel applied for bail and was granted by the court.
The conditions included a bail fee of ten million naira (N10,000,000,), two sureties resident in Jalingo, Taraba State, with landed properties worth five million naira (N5,000,000) each.
After meeting the bail conditions, it is not clear why Ayodele Samuel is yet to be released but remanded at the police headquarters, and not the prison as directed by the judge in his verdict, should he not meet the bail conditions.
He was arrested for exposing corruption in Gov. Ishaku’s government.
The lead editor of Taraba Truth and Facts newspaper is being prosecuted for his report exposing the Taraba governor’s plan to sell the state liaison office.
Governor Darius Ishaku
has been accused of sponsoring the unjust arrest and detention of Taraba-based journalist Ayodele Samuel Oloye, reports says.
Mr Oloye had earlier gotten wind of the governor’s plan to effect his arrest, prompting him to release a statement to his journalists colleagues on September 30,2022.
“The Taraba State Government is angry with some of our reports, specifically over a report where he stated that Governor Darius Ishaku had “plans to sell the Taraba liaison office,” he said.
He was arrested hours after making the statement and secretly arraigned before the State High Court in Taraba without due process and legal representation and thereafter remanded in detention where he is being held without access to his lawyers or family members.
Following his arrest, human rights activist, Bako Benjamin, in a statement condemned Mr Oloye’s arrest and a reported plan by the governor to further develop a legal framework for the repression of the press and intimidation of journalists.
This has attracted concern to Citizens of the state.
A colliation under the Taraba Concern Citizen Forum, appealled to the State Government led by Governor Ishaku to kindly reconsider its interest and decision over the legal action against Mr. Ayodele Samuel Oloye- Publisher and managing Editor, Taraba Truth and Fact and CEO Rock FM Jalingo.
The group in a statement signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Mansur Jirgi and Danji Tijani said, its aware of the State’ displeasure over a newspaper article published recently by Taraba Truth and Fact and the ongoing legal action instituted against the news medium and its proprietor.
“As one of the responsibilities of the media, it is considered as Taraba Truth and Facts responsibility to keep the government in check and constructively criticise its policies and of course decisions as it affects the masses. This also is expected to be done with fairness and objectivity in order to avoid misinformation.
“Thus, the Government- the executive, legislative and judiciary need the media a collaborative efforts with the media to inform and educate the public about its policies and also to review its criticism for better and informed decisions. In the cause of this collaboration, there may arise misunderstandings and misinterpretation of intentions, but as the residents and beneficiaries of all efforts made by the government and the media, we expect such challenges to be handled without face off.
“So far, Ayodele Samuel as an individual and its media outfits have given us platform to communicate our needs to the government and of course get feedbacks from them. Through Taraba Truth and Facts we have aired our grievances, through Rock Fm we have criticised either federal, State or local government decisions and all are possible because of Ayodele Samuel Oloye’s realistic ideas and vision for media in Taraba State.
“We are calling on our Governor, His Excellency, Arc. Darius Ishaku, the Attorney General of the State and every other well meaning stakeholders within the State to kindly reconsider actions and withdraw legal action against Mr Ayodele Samuel Oloye for a possible mutual out of court settlement in the interest of continuous development of Taraba State.
Currently, Taraba Truth and Facts and Rock Fm has a work force of over 50 people according to our findings. These people have families and dependents.
Similarly, Journalists’ Body Tackles Police, Taraba Govt, Demands Immediate Release Of Ayodele Samuel.
The Coalition of Journalists of Conscience, (CJC) has demanded the immediate release from detention of its member, Oloye Ayodele Samuel – Publisher of Taraba Truth and Facts and CEO of Rock FM 92.3, Jalingo.
The group is calling on the Nigerian Police Force, the Commissioner of Police, Taraba State Command and the Taraba State Governor, Arc. Darius Ishaku to honour the court ruling and free Ayodele Samuel.
In a statement, issued and signed on Thursday, 1 December, 2022, in Lagos by the group’s General Secretary, Mr Akinwale Kasali said Ayodele Samuel was on Tuesday, 29 November, 2022 illegally remanded at the Taraba State Police Command despite meeting bail conditions, after
The statement said, “Ayodele Samuel was arraigned at a magistrate court in Jalingo, presided by his lordship, Garba S. Garba on a two count charge of defamation and injurious falsehood.
“The charges were filed against him by the Gov. of Taraba State, Darius Dickson Ishaku, through the office of the Attorney General of the state.
“It comes as a reaction from nurtured grievance over a publication on page 5 of the Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper, dated September 17, 2022 with the title “Taraba for Sale”.
“The publication alleges a possible sale of the Taraba state-owned Mambilla Beverages Company and state properties, including the liaison office in Abuja. In which similar publications had appeared on other prominent Nigerian media prior to the publication on Taraba Truth and Facts without rebuttal.”
According to the statement, Ayodele Samuel had at the court pleaded not guilty to the charges and his counsel applied for bail successfully, which the magistrate had described as ordinary bailable cases.
The bail conditions were N10 million fee, two sureties resident in Jalingo having landed properties worth five million naira each.
There were about 12 persons willing to stand surety instantly, including two pastors but only two would have to help fulfill the bail conditions.
“Subsequently, the bail conditions were met but it is quite unclear how the publisher has been remanded, but what is certain is the treacherous abuse of power by the state government.
“Now, the Magistrate Court Registrar is saying the case file has been transferred to the State High Court, which obviously is a plan to frustrate the bail process and remand the innocent media entrepreneur further at the custody of the Taraba State Police Command long enough to satisfy Governor Ishaku’s thirst for oppression.
“Our investigation revealed that the State High Court intend to foot-drag the hearing of Ayodele’s case and keep him in detention even beyond December.
“We are calling on the Attorney General of the Federation, the Inspector General of Police, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ to wade in to forestall this daylight attack on press freedom and of course the right of every Nigerian to live and do business legally anywhere in the Country.
“Prior to the arraignment Ayodele Samuel had honoured two police invitations over separate petitions from the Taraba state government and has conducted himself with regard for law. Thereafter Mr. Ayodele had raised alarms that government agents have tapped his call lines and are tracking his movements.
“Sources have claimed that Governor Ishaku has not been able to reconcile with the reality of someone from a different region of the country having significant impact over the media in the state.
“It has also been heard that on some occasion the Governor spoke of the publisher with disdain, even at the state House of Assembly when he ought to be defending the State 2023 budget.
“Accusing and maltreating someone who should have been recognised and honoured as a pacesetter for establishing the first private radio station amidst his numerous achievements in Taraba state is shameful and we are calling on the government and its agents have a rethink and obey the court verdict”.
Anger continued to trail the remand of the publisher of “Taraba Truth And Facts Tabloid” who doubles as the chief executive officer (CEO) Rock FM in Jalingo, Oloye Samuel Ayodele by a magistrate court in Taraba State.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State through the Office of the Attorney-General on Tuesday dragged Ayodele to a magistrate court headed by Garba A. Garba on a two-count charge of defamation and falsehood against the state government.
The case was numbered CMCJ/99/2022.
Commenting on the development, former Nigerian Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Ahaji Ardo Jika described the remand of Ayodele as the highest crime against freedom of the press in Nigeria.
He said after following the development that led to the anger of the state government on the publication by the tabloid, the government ought to apologise to the people of Mambila who rejected the sale of Highland Tea which triggered the write up in the newspaper.
Jika said, “The report which the governor is angry at has all facts, they intended selling the Tea company at Mambilla Plateau, it did not go down well with the host community, the state assembly house committee were there of recent, they were almost stoned by the youths, ask those of them that were there will tell you, why are they now suppressing the press?
“Is an absolute disappointment that a government seeks to cripple press freedom or at the very least, freedom of expression in this modern time.
Prior to the arraignment, Ayodele had honoured two police invitations over separate petitions from the state government.
Thereafter, he raised the alarm that government agents had tapped his call lines and were tracking his movements.