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DEFAMATION: Tani Olohun’s Lawyers Disagree Over Motion Withdrawal.

Tani Olohun

There was a mild drama at the Kwara Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Ilorin on Friday as two lawyers representing Abdulazeez Adegbola, also known as Tani Olohun, who is standing trial for alleged defamation disagreed openly over the right to move a motion on the case.

The two lawyers, Mufutau Olobi and Ademola Bank, each claimed to be the counsel to withdraw a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case.

The development made the Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Ibrahim, discontinue the hearing and ask all the counsel to pick another date for the hearing of the case.

Tani Olohun is standing trial for a five-count charge of alleged criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before the Chief Magistrates’ Court.

The offence according to the prosecution was contrary to sections 97, 210, 392, and 114 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.

Tani Olohun pleaded not guilty to the offence and was denied bail.

When the court resumed hearing on Friday, Olobi stood up and announced his appearance and introduced Bank as a co-counsel representing Tani Olohun in the case.

He told the court that they had filed two motions – one challenging the jurisdiction of the court while another motion was filed to seek bail for their client.

He, however, said they wanted to withdraw the former motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court in the trial of Tani Olohun.

Olobi said, “The counsel have agreed that the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court to conduct the trial in the case be withdrawn forthwith.”

While he was still speaking, Bank stood up and said that Olobi was not competent to withdraw the motion since he was not the person who filed it before the court.

“Your worship, I want to tell the court that my learned colleague is not the right person to withdraw the motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court in the trial of the case from the court. I filed the motion before the court and I should be the right person to withdraw it.

“He is just coming into the case. He should allow me to withdraw the motion before the court.

But Olobi insisted that he was right to seek the withdrawal of the motion being the most senior counsel representing the defendant in the case.

The chief magistrate, however, urged the two counsel to seek understanding and reach an agreement on the matter in consonance with the provisions of the law.

The case was later adjourned till October 30 for the continuation of the hearing.

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