A 45-year-old blogger, Gbenga Dan-Asabe, on Tuesday appeared before an Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan for allegedly publishing false news and defaming Satguru Maharaj Ji.
The police charged him on a three-count bordering on conspiracy, defamation and publishing false news against Satguru Maharaj Ji.
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.
The defence counsel, Kemi Fowosola, prayed for her client’s bail on the most liberal term.
The magistrate, Mr Olaolu Olanipekun, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Olanipekun said one of the sureties must be a relation to the defendant, and adjourned the matter till Feb. 22 for hearing.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, ASP M. O. Lawal informed the court that Asabe had on Sept. 4 allegedly conspired with others to publish the defamatory matter.
Lawal said, “The defendant with intent to injure the reputation and expose him to hatred was alleged to have unlawfully published the defamatory matter in ‘Iwe Iroyin Yoruba Tooto’ against Satguru Maharaj Ji.
“Asabe allegedly published that Satguru Maharaj Ji is a ritualist who sells human body parts for money rituals, knowing same to be false.”
He said the offence was contrary to the provisions of Section 373 and punishable under sections 376, and 516 of the Criminal Code Laws of Oyo State, 2000.