A Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin, Kwara state capital, has sentenced two persons, Gidado Shuaib and Olufemi Alfred, to three months imprisonment over a case of criminal conspiracy and defamation levelled against them.
The offences contravened Sections 97 and 392 of the Penal Code.
Their arraignment followed a petition by Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industries Limited along Ajase-Ipo road, over a publication in News Digest with the headline “Inside Kwara Factory where Indian hemp is legalised”.
According to the petitioner, the article portrayed the company, which is into rice production, as a place where Indian hemp was smoked freely by workers.
The company told the court that the article in the online publication had caused it and the petitioner huge financial and reputational damages.
The petitioner had told the court that as a result of the article published in June 2018, the company was denied a loan facility to the tune of $10,000,000 by a funding partner in the United Arab Emirates called Arab Group and equally lost a deposit sum of $250,000.
Magistrate A. S. Muhammad convicted them to two months imprisonment each for the offence of conspiracy and three months for defamation.
They were however given N100,000 option of fine each.