Lagos, Nigeria | AFP | A Nigerian court has struck out a criminal case against a man who named his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Joachim Iroko Chinakwe has been standing trial since August last year in Ota, southwest Nigeria, and admitted naming his pet in honour of the head of state.
But his lawyer Ebun-Ola Adegboruwa told AFP: “When the case came up for hearing on Tuesday, the chief magistrate was angry because of the absence of the prosecuting police officer without notice.
“The court also noted the unseriousness of the prosecution and therefore granted the prayer (plea) of the defence counsel to strike out the case for lack of diligent prosecution.”
Police had accused textile trader Chinakwe, a southern Christian, of conducting himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace as the president was a northern Muslim.
Religion is a constant source of tension in Nigeria and frequently boils over into violence.
Chinakwe has denied disrespect, saying in September last year he had “great love and admiration” for the 74-year-old former military ruler.
He also revealed he had named his daughter Aisha, after Buhari’s second wife “to further demonstrate my love for the Buhari family”.