//Godwin Ekosin, Kaduna Nigeria//
As a fresh court charge against Kaduna-based Journalist, Jacob Onjewu Dickson by the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police on April 29, 2016 before Magistrate Emmanuel Yusuf, renowned Human Right Lawyer, Festus Okoye has taken over as defense counsel.
It would be recalled that Dickson, who writes for an online news medium was invited for a meeting with theKaduna State Commissioner of Police on April 28, 2016 at about 09:00 hours from where he was detained at the State Intelligence Bureau before being transferred to a Police cell same night, arraigned the following morning and sent to the Kaduna Convict Prison where he spent seven days before granted bail.
The old First Information Report (FIR) contained only two-count charges bordering on False Personation and Inciting Disaffection to the Government of Kaduna State.
Prosecution Counsel, led by Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution, Dari Bayero had at the last session appealed to the Magistrate to substitute the previous FIR with two-count charges with the latest which had an additional charge of Criminal Defamation of Character.
His plea was granted by the Magistrate and the accused who was notrepresented by a counsel at that seating, could not object the substitution.
At the last appearance on Tuesday November 22, Barrister Festus Okoye took over the defense for the accused from Barrister Timothy Bonnet who technically withdrew from the case by failing to appear for session.
When the matter was called up, the prosecution was absent and the case had been adjourned tentatively for January 16, 2017.
In an interview with newsmen outside the court room, Festus Okoye who was represented by Barrister Mohammed Kabiru Abdullahi said that his initial instinct was to call for the case to be struck out as a result of the absence of the prosecution but he was later informed that Bayero had taken excuse that he would be absent as at when the matter was called.