President Muhammadu Buhari’s special adviser on finance and the economy, Sarah Alade, demanded 500 million naira from two journalists, MM. Alfred Olufemi (21) and Gidado Yushau (23), for an investigation report.
Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industry, one of the business groups owned by the former vice-governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Ms. Alade, has been charged with tolerating smoking, as well as Indian hemp by nearby workers.
The report also said that the industry refused to respond to Olufemi’s investigation after making several calls and text messages over the industry’s telephone lines.
The two defendants had been brought to justice before a high court of Ilorin Metropolis for conspiracy and criminal defamation against articles 97 and 192 of the penal code. The duo pleaded not guilty.
Following the request for release by the defense lawyer, Mr. Usman Belgore, Chief Magistrate of the Court, magistrate AO Muhammed released the accused on grounds of recognition and that they are innocent until proven guilty.
The bail conditions include two sureties each who are relatives of the accused with a bail of 200,000 N.
When the case was called on Monday, the prosecutor was unable to provide his witness and, as such, the magistrate adjourned to January 28.
After the adjournment, the journalists received a summons from the lawyer for Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industries Limited.
In the summons obtained by PRNigeria, the company demanded the sum of 500 million naira from the duo.
They also asked for an order compelling the defendants to remove and delete links from the report from their platform and to ensure their removal from all internet platforms that copied it.
In addition, Hillcrest is requesting an apology on its online news platform and two national newspapers.