A Magistrate’s Court in Abuja on Friday discharged an African Independent Television reporter, Amaechi Anakwe, of the charge relating to addressing the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, Abuja, Mr. Joseph Mbu, as “controversial”.
Mbu had on Thursday ordered Anakwe’s arrest after he was invited to the AIG’s office for making the statement on air.
The Chief Magistrate, who presided over the court, Anthony Ogboi, discharged the AIT journalist, after the prosecution counsel, Chijoke Okezie, orally applied for the withdrawal of the charge.
Okezie told the court that Mbu instructed that the charge be withdrawn and that Anakwe be brought to his office for further clarification on the issue.
The defence counsel, John Kalu, had earlier informed the court that he had yet to get a copy of the First Information Report to enable him to know the offence his client was charged with.
He however did not oppose the application for the withdrawal of the charge but he prayed for an order restraining Mbu or its privies from further harassing or arresting Anakwe.
In a short ruling, the magistrate discharged the journalist but declined to make an order restraining the police.
According to the magistrate, making such a restraining order could amount to impeding the duty of the police.
Meanwhile, Anakwe’s lawyers, Kalu and Ayo Ogundele, described the arrest of their client as gross abuse of rights.