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Court strikes out case against 29-year old pharmacist over tweet against Buhari

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, struck out a case brought against a 29-year-old pharmacist, Solomon Akuma, who tweeted that he would, “Pay a Russian sniper to kill Buhari and his former Chief of Staff, the late Abba Kyari” for been defective.

Justice Folashade Giwa- Ogunbanjo, while ruling on the matter said, there was no valid charge before the court and that the matter was not diligently prosecuted.

She said the case file would be returned to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in the office of the Attorney General of Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice for further action and added that the judgement does not give protection to the defendant from future investigation.

The defence counsel, Emmanuel Ukaegbu, had prayed the court to discharge the defendant who was in a correctional centre, adding also that his client should be released since the matter has been struck out, a request the judge said, the defence counsel should file a formal application to that effect.

Akuma was abducted and had been detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja, for over eleven months, an action which was widely condemned by activists, lawyers and civil society groups as he (Akuma) did not commit any crime to warrant such a punishment.

Akuma’s tweets were in response to a Twitter post asking respondents what their next move would be if they got $1 million.

Reports said, Akuma’s father, Emmanuel Akuma, was deceived by the police in order to get his son arrested.

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The father said he had received a call from a person ”who disguised to be a person seeking to reward him for praying for him in the past.

“It was me they used as bait to get to my son. They used me as their link. Someone must have dug up my profile and they found out that I was a pastor,” he said.

The cleric added, “Someone called me that I had prayed for him at a place. He said he wanted to honour me and that he and others would be coming on a particular date.

“They also said that they would visit me and give me an honorarium. I said I was not really aware of what they were talking about.

“They said I should not bother that they knew me as a pastor. I said, okay, no problem. They said I had once ministered in their church.

“I was not around at the time because I went for burial in my hometown. So I lodged in my in-law’s place.

“I said no problem, but something ministered to me that those guys were not what they said they were and as it turned out to be, they were policemen.”

He said he reluctantly agreed to meet with them and took them to his in-law’s place, where they “arrested everybody and collected all our phones at gunpoint, and marched us into a red jeep they parked outside.”

He said the policemen later used his phone number to call his son “telling him that his father lost the phone”.

“In fact, because of all the weapons they had I couldn’t react because I could not ascertain who they were,” he said.

The cleric said when his son arrived at the scene, the men immediately arrested him.

“So, at that point, they gave us back our phones, and they took him to the police station, down to Umuahia, to Enugu and the next day, they went to Abuja,” he said.

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