A Chief Magistrate’s Court in Sango-Otta on Tuesday dismissed charges filed against a resident of the Ogun State community for naming his dog ‘Buhari.’
The magistrate, O.O. Adebo, said the prosecution failed to substantiate its case against Joachim Iroko, consequently striking out all charges preferred against him.
Mr. Iroko’s lawyer was ecstatic Tuesday, praising the court for the verdict.
Mr. Iroko, 41, was arrested in August 2016 for causing a breach of peace after he was reported by his neighbour who alleged insensitivity in Mr. Iroko’s action.
The neighbour, identified as Haliru Umar from Sokoto State, said Mr. Iroko harboured sinister motives when he gave his name the same name as President Muhammadu Buhari.
The arrest of Mr. Iroko sparked nationwide outrage in August 2016 and critics accused the police of stifling constitutionally guaranteed freedom to satisfy the president.
The police denied that Mr. Iroko’s ordeal had anything to do with the president but strictly about the breach of peace complaints received from his neighbour.
The presidency also reacted to the arrest when Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the president paid more attention to cartoon pages in the newspapers rather than following Mr. Iroko’s case that was generating nationwide furore at the time.
But a lack of diligent prosecution prompted Mr. Adebo to free Mr. Iroko at the resumed trial Tuesday.
The magistrate said the prosecution failed to provide witnesses since December 2016, and, at some point, stopped appearing for hearing.