Mr Joachim Iroko, who was arrested for naming his pet dog Buhari was this morning set free by Sango Ota Chief Magistrate Court in Ogun State.
Iroko also known as Joe Fortemose Chinakwe came to prominence after he was arrested on Saturday, August 13, 2016, at Hausa section of Ketere Market, Sango-Ota, when one of his neighbours from the North, complained that he named the dog after his father, Alhaji Buhari.
The suspect was first taken to Sango Police Station, from where he was transferred to state command headquarters at Eleweran, Abeokuta.
He was subsequently charged to court by the Nigeria Police Force for “conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace” by naming his dog ‘Buhari’
The prosecutor told the court that the offence is punishable under under Section 249 (d) of Criminal Code of Laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2016.” The one count charge read:
“That you Joachim Iroko aka Joe and other still at largeon Saturday 13th day of August 2016, at about 5.30pm at Ketere area Sango, in the Ota Magisterial District did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace, by writing a name ‘Buhari’ on a dog and parading same in the Hausa section of Ketere Market Sango and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 249 (d) of Criminal Code of Laws of Ogun State of Nigeria, 2016.”
One of his lawyers, Inibehe Effiong disclosed this today on his Facebook page. Read his post below:
“Following the serial failure by the prosecution to present its witnesses and the continued absence of the nominal complainant who had claimed that Iroko named his dog ‘Buhari’, after his father, we applied for the case to be struck out by the Court for want of diligent prosecution.
The Magistrate, O. O. Adebo, granted our application and the case was accordingly struck-out and Mr Iroko walked home a free man.
I had argued from the outset that the Nigeria Police did not have any case against Iroko and that there was no legal basis to arrest, detain and prosecute the poor trader over an alleged conduct that did not harm and could not have injured anybody. There was nothing like an attempt to cause breach of peace ab initio.
I want to specially commend Mr. Adegboruwa for leading lawyers in defence of Mr. Iroko pro bono. I appreciate Messrs Fadile Niyi and Tosin Adesioye from the chambers of Adegboruwa & Co., Mr. Adeola Samuel Opeyemi and Mr. Vincent Obetta who were all part of the defence team which I am proud to have been part of.
I want to also appreciate the media for their conscientious coverage of this case and all Nigerians who had expressed support in one form or the other for Mr. Iroko.
When the incident happened in August 2016, I responded by leading a campaign for the freedom of Iroko. That this case has ended this way is a victory for justice and a boast to the image of the Nigerian Judiciary as the last hope of the oppressed and the common man.
We hope that the Nigeria Police and their instigators will now allow reason to prevail. But if they wish to resurrect this case, we shall meet them again in court.