An Abuja Upper Area Court is to deliver ruling in a bail application filed by a businesswoman, Hauwa Muhammed, popularly known as Jaruma. The Nigeria Police charged Jaruma with false news publication, intimidation and defamation of character.
The Area court judge, Ismailia Abdullahi, adjourned until Friday for ruling. Abdullahi also fixed February 23 for trial. He directed that the defendant should be remanded in custody in the Suleja Correction Centre.
In his submission, the Prosecution Counsel, E. A. Inegbenoise and Chinedu Ogada, told the court that the complainant, Chief Ned Nwoko, reported the matter through a written petition from his lawyer to the Federal Command Territory Police Command for proper investigation on January 20.
Inegbenoise said that the defendant used various social media platforms, particularly through her instagram handle, to publish falsehood against Nwoko and his wife, Princess Regina, to members of the public.
He told the court the defendant gave the false news in order to incite public hatred against Nwoko and his wife to damage their reputation.
Inegbenoise alleged that the defendant through her Instagram handle published that she gave N10 million to Princess Regina Daniels to advertise her illicit product, known as Kayanmata.
The prosecutor further said that the defendant published that the complainant and his wife criminally collected her money but failed to deliver the purported contract, which never existed.
Inegbenoise also alleged that the defendant used the product to corrupt public morality through social media advertisement and other unwholesome activities.
He informed the court that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 392, 393, 397 and 418 of the penal code.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The prosecution counsel prayed the court to grant him date to open his case against the defendant.
“However in view of the fact that the defendant was only arrested Jan 21 and granted bail without having the opportunity to question her,” he said, adding: “We pray the court to remand the defendant in police custody for seven days.
“This is to enable detectives to interrogate her and execute search warrant in her apartments at her residence.”
James Odibe, counsel to Muhammed, in an oral application for bail, cited sections 35 and 36 (5) of the 1999 constitution and Section 305, 165 (1) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015.
Odibe told the court that the two parties are celebrities and equally urged the court to grant the defendant bail on self-recognition or in the alternative in the most liberal terms.
He submitted in addition that the defendant will not jump bail and that she was on police administrative bail.