By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—A Makurdi Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr. Issac Ajim, yesterday, dismissed the preliminary objection raised by the commissioner representing Benue State at the Public Complaints Commission, PCC, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, to stop his prosecution by the state government for injurious falsehood.
Ruling on the motion by Alhaji Tsav challenging the jurisdiction of the court, Mr. Ajim held that his court had jurisdiction to entertain the case.
According to him, “the doors of the temple of justice must at all times be open with its lights on to draw back the darkness that hovers around those who have been injured or whose rights have been infringed on by the terror of unjust treatment.”
The Attorney General of Benue State, Mr. Michael Gusa, had instituted direct criminal proceedings against Alhaji Tsav on the grounds that he contravened Section 394 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue State, 2004.
His complaint was based on a letter which Alhaji Tsav purportedly wrote to Governor Samuel Ortom on May 16, 2017, which he allegedly copied to the Presidency, anti-graft agencies and also circulated in the media.
The Attorney General submitted that the said letter contained injurious falsehood against the governor and government of Benue State, and was capable of inciting the people against the him and his government.
Reacting to the ruling, counsel to Tsav, Mr. Anthony Agadah, said he will appeal the ruling, while counsel to Benue State government, Mr. Andew Wombo, expressed satisfaction with the ruling, stating that the decision of the court to entertain the suit was 100 percent correct.
Ajim adjourned the case till May 16 for hearing of the application for stay of proceedings and the commencement of definite hearing of the matter.