Journalism of Courage

Staging self-kidnap, misinformation: Court grants Amira Safiyanu conditional pardon

The defence counsel, Mrs Chinyere Moneme did not oppose the report but pleaded with the court for conditional release of the defendant to allow for a proper medical care.

A Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja has discharged Amira Safiyanu, who raised a false alarm by informing the public on her abduction by armed men on June 14, 2022

Safiyanu through her verified twitter handle had claimed she was abducted along with 17 others including a pregnant woman in Abuja by unknown gunmen who allegedly disguised as police officers.

Persecondnews had reported that she was subsequently picked up by the police and subjected to a thorough investigation before her arraignment on Wednesday in Abuja.

Safiyanu, who was called to the Witness Box about 10:43am pleaded guilty to the charge brought against her by the FCT Police Command.

The counsel to the police,  Mr James Idachaba (SAN), urged the court to consider the clinical report conducted by the police medical team on the defendant.

The medical report, according to Idachaba which was tendered and marked exhibit A, revealed that Amira Safiyanu has a mental health challenge as at the time she raised the false alarm.

The defence counsel, Mrs Chinyere Moneme did not oppose the report but pleaded with the court for conditional release of the defendant to allow for a proper medical care.

Magistrate Chukwuemeka Weke after listening to the submissions of both counsel and relying on Administration of Criminals Justice Act, Part 454, granted Safiyanu conditional pardon and ordered her immediate release to her parents for proper medical attention.

The Magistrate, however, directed her to report and present herself before Deputy Commissioner of Police Hawal Ibrahim of the FCT Police Command every month for the next one year to ascertain her moral and clinical condition.

Weke said: “Considering the submissions of both counsel and your plead of guilt to the charge brought against you and considering the exhibit before me, I hereby grant you non- custodian sentence and you are not restricted but to have your walk back.

“The court expect that you continue to display good conduct under your father.”

Speaking with newsmen soon after the court sitting, the prosecution counsel, Idachaba expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision.

“The purpose is not to persecute her but to prosecute her and  ensure she cannot give false information to embarrass the police or create unnecessary tension within the public space.

“The police have a duty to maintain law and order, that is why we are here.

“It will also serve as a deterrent to others that you have a responsibility to use the social media to promote peace and not to create crisis with your information,” he said.

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