Court begins trial of National Theatre staff May 21

A magistrate court in Apapa, Lagos, will on May 21, commence the trial of a National Theatre staff, Ephesian Nodza, over alleged conspiracy, defamation and sponsorship of false and malicious publications against a Lagos-based traditional ruler, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye.

The suspect, a level 13 officer at the parastatal, was earlier arraigned in September, 2023, before Chief Magistrate Olanrewaju Olatunji who ordered his remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending the perfection of his bail conditions.

However, prior to his arraignment, when he was being investigated at the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID, Alagbon, the erstwhile General Manager of the parastatal, Professor Sunday Ododo stood surety for the suspect in the sum of N10million to secure his bail.

In the course of the hearing on March 28, 2024, the prosecutor, Mike Enejere, had told the court that Ephesian committed the offence he is standing trial for on April 9, 2023, at the national Theatre, Lagos.

He added that the offence is punishable under section 95 (1) (b) of the criminal law of Lagos State of 2015.

The charge read, “That you, Ephesian Nodza ‘M’ on or about the 9th of April, 2023 at National Theatre, Lagos, within the magisterial jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire to bring false accusation, defamatory news publications against the person of a traditional ruler of Otumara community, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye, knowing full well that he is innocent of the alleged offence. You hereby committed an offence punishable under section 95 (1) (b) of the criminal law of Lagos State of 2015.”

Meanwhile, after four adjournments to allow for out-of-court settlement by both parties, which failed, the Chief Magistrate, Olarewaju Olatunji, fixed May 21, 2024, for the commencement of trial.

Back to top button