Defamation: Court Vacates Re-arrest Order On Jaruma

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An upper area court in Zuba, Abuja has vacated its re-arrest order on Hauwa Muhammad, popularly known as Jaruma. The court had in February ordered Jaruma’s re-arrest after she failed to appear in court for the continuation of the hearing of the defamation case filed against her by Billionaire businessman, Ned Nwoko.

The businessman had in January 2022 filed a petition before the police in which he accused Jaruma of defamation of character, false news publication and intimidation. Jaruma was January 28 granted bail by the court after spending four days in police custody. The trial resumed in February. However, her absence at the trial forced the presiding judge to revoke her bail and ordered her re-arrested for being absent during trial.

The judge accused her of avoiding the court despite being aware of the date of the hearing, but Jaruma appealed the court order through her counsel, Odiba James, who apologized for her client’s absence during the hearing of the case. The lawyer argued that the development was due to Jaruma’s ill health and that her action was not deliberate. James further assured the court that his client would be of good conduct and not jump bail as feared in some quarters.

The prosecution counsel, however, opposed the application, arguing that approving such would amount to sacrilege to the sanctity of the court. In his ruling, the presiding judge upheld Jaruma’s application, stating that the entrepreneur should not be denied bail as a punishment since she has presented herself in court. “In the interest of justice, it is the court’s opinion that there should be no hindrance to the substantive matter.

It is a time that bail should not be denied to punish the defendant since she has presented herself. The court might temper justice with mercy. The earlier order of arrest is hereby vacated. But the order for the social media that she should not make any publication and for her not to disrespect the court order is restored.”the judge said

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