This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Alao Akala Arraigned for Biting Journalist

His impatience and needless fury led him not only to bite off the left ear of a journalist, but also to attack another with a camcorder stand. The assailant is Alao Akala. Yes, Alao Akala, but not the one you know. This one, unlike the former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala, is from Ago-Ika in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Akala, a 50-year-old man, was arraigned before the Abeokuta Magistrates' Court, yesterday for allegedly biting off the left ear of a journalist, Mr. Saheed Ganiyu.

Police prosecutor, Sunday Eiagbejiale, said the accused committed the alleged offence on January 3 at the Ago-Ika area of Abeokuta.

Narrating the incident, Eiagbejiale told Magistrate Martins Akinyemi that the accused attacked the two journalists who were carrying out their lawful duties with "no just cause".

"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 are in Abeokuta from Ilorin to research the claim that the late Chief Olusola Saraki was from this town.

"As an indigene was giving them the lowdown of how the late Saraki was related to Abeokuta, the accused came midway into the interview, broke the camera and turned the venue upside down," the prosecutor told the court.

He added that the accused also "maliciously damaged the journalists' camcorder camera valued at N300,000.

The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Sections 355, 335 and 451 of the Criminal Code Laws of Ogun, 2006.

But the accused who was not represented by a counsel pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge of assault and unlawful damage.

Akala pleaded that he had mistaken the journalists for prospective buyers invited to inspect his family property, which was situated at the venue of the incident.

Akinyemi granted him bail in the sum of N140,000 with two sureties in like sum and adjourned further hearing till March 3.

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