Court Sentences Gidado Shuaib, Alfred Olufemi to Prison over Defamation Reports against Agro- Allied Industries

A magistrate court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara state capital has sentenced two persons namely Gidado Shuaib and Olufemi Alfred to a fine of N100, 000.00 each or three month imprisonment over a case of criminal conspiracy and defamation levelled against them. 

The convicts were arraigned  in court  on a First Information Report dated  November  2019 for offences  of criminal conspiracy and defamation contrary to sections  97 and 392 of the penal law.

Their arraignment followed a petition written against  them by  Hillcrest Agro- Allied Industries Limited located at Kilometre 4, Ajase -Ipo road, Amberi village , Kwara state over a published article in News Digest  “titled Inside Kwara Factory where Indian hemp is legalised “.

The article according to the petitioner portrayed the company ,which is into rice production as a place where indian hemp is being smoked freely by workers .  

The company ( Hillcrest Agro- Allied Industries , Limited) had told  the court that the  article in the online publication had caused the company and the petitioner huge financial and reputational damages.

The petitioner had told the court that as a result of the article published in the online publication (News Digest) in June 2018, the company was denied a loan facility to the tune of $10,000,000.000 by funding  partner in the United Arab Emirates called Arab Group and equally  lost a deposit sum of $250 ,000.00

Delivering judgement on the matter after about five years of legal battle, magistrate A S Muhammad said ” I have carefully  considered the evidence of PW1 (Shakirat Yusuf) on the character of the convicts as well

as considered the Allocutus made by learned counsel to the convicts and I have equally reflected on the provisions of sections 316 and 417 of the Kwara state administration of criminal justice law, 2018.

In compliance with the provisions under S.417 (2) ( d) of the Kwara state ACJL , 2018 , I shall not pass maximum sentence on the convicts. 

“Premised on the forgoing for the offence  of conspiracy, I sentenced the 1st and 2nd convicts to a fine of N40,000 only each or 2 months imprisonment in default of payment.  

“On defamation, the 1st and 2nd convicts are sentenced to a fine of N60,000.00 only each or 3 months  imprisonment in default of payment. 

“For clarity, each of the  convicts is to pay a fine of N100, 000.00 only for the offences  of conspiracy and defamation respectively, haven been convicted  in default of payment, the  sentence shall run concurrently. Rights  of Appeal exist within 30 days”.

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