A 50-year-old man who bears the same name as a former governor of Oyo State was arraigned before an Abeokuta Magistrates’ Court for allegedly biting off the left ear of a journalist, Saheed Ganiyu.
Alao Akala bit off Ganiyu’s ear when he was investigating the background of late political godfather of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki.
Another journalist, Rasaki Olayiwola was also reportedly hit on the head with a camcorder stand by the accused.
Police Prosecutor, Sunday Eiagbejiale told the court that the accused committed the offence on January 3, 2013 at Ago-Ika in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
Eiagbejiale told Magistrate Matins Akinyemi that the accused attacked the two journalists who were carrying out their lawful duties without just cause.
“Akala attacked the journalists when they were on a research mission into the background and origin of late Saraki who was reported to have claimed to be from Abeokuta.
“Akala bit off Ganiyu’s left ear, causing grievous harm and hit Olayiwola on the head with a camcorder stand. `”It will interest this court to know that the journalists were in Abeokuta from Ilorin to research the claim that Chief Olusola Saraki was from this town.
“As an indigene, I was giving them the lowdown of how the late Saraki was related to Abeokuta, when the accused came mid-way into the interview, broke the camera and turned the venue upside down,” Eiagbejiale said.
The prosecutor added that the accused also “maliciously damaged” the journalists’ camcorder valued at N300,000.
The prosecutor said the offence contravened Sections 355, 335 and 451 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006.
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of assault and unlawful damage.
Akala, who was not represented by any counsel, pleaded that he thought the journalists were prospective buyers invited to inspect his family property where the incident took place.
Magistrate Akinyemi granted bail to the accused in the sum of N140,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned further hearing to March 3. [VN]