By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
After spending 52 days in prison custody, the former Kaduna State Correspondent of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr Luka Binniyat, who was handed stringent bail conditions of twenty million naira and international passports from two sureties granted last month and failed to meet them was brought before Justice Bashir Sukola of the State High Court 10 on Thursday and the case has since been adjourned to 9th of October, 2017 for application for hearing and review of his bail conditions.
The Kaduna born journalist, Binniyat is being tried in court over a report he wrote about crisis in Southern Kaduna which turned out not to be true which was published in Vanguard Newspapers earlier this year.
If all things equal, he will be spending another 40 days in prison before his bail condition will be reviewed by the court. The case was adjourned to October 9, 2017 as a result of an appeal for adjournment filed by the prosecuting counsel led by Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution, Bayero Dari.
Prosecutor Dari had filed an instant application for adjournment citing the change of prosecuting counsel, with the Defence Counsel, Barrister James Kanyip opposed, but could not get the mercy of his Lord.
Speaking to newsmen outside the court, Prosecutor Dari, said the adjournment was not deliberate and explained that the instant adjournment was necessary because the case had been transferred to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), who has been debriefed and needed time to go through the case file.
Lead Counsel to the accused, Barrister Kanyip said he was disappointed that the bail condition review was not done at Thursday’s sitting. and argued that the motion for review of the bail condition was filed since August 7 and the prosecuting team had ample time to study it.
“I am okay with the adjournment of the hearing of the case, but disappointed that review of the bail was not entertained,” he said.
When asked what would be his next line of action if his motion is not treated satisfactorily, he vowed to further seek redress at the court of appeal.
The court was filled with scores of Luka’s wife, colleagues in the media profession and several top Southern Kaduna elite.
However, drama however unfold when a Veteran Journalist and former Secretary of the Kaduna State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Comrade Dominic Uzu, staged a one-man protest at the court premises over the continued detention of his colleague, with placards reading; “Kaduna Journalists Gagged” and “I mourn the death of Press Freedom in Kaduna State,” among others.