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it is no crime to name dog ‘Buhari’, lawyers say

The 30-year-old trader, Joe Fortemose Chinakwe, who was on Monday, remanded at the Ibara Prison following his arraignment at the Ota Magistrates’ Court 2, Ogun State for naming his pet dog “Buhari”, has received the backing of a group of legal practitioners.
Since his arrest in his No 10, Omikunle Street, Sango-Ota residence on 13th August by the Police, embattled Chinakwe had insisted that he committed no offence by naming his pet dog after “Buhari” claiming that the man had being his age-long hero.
It could be recall that the accused had been released by the Sango-Ota Police after he and the complainant, alleged to be a Nigerean, had agreed to be of good conduct.
However, the case reportedly resurfaced after another Nigerian based in the United States was reported in social media to have also named her pet dog after another prominent Nigerian leader (name withheld).
Meanwhile, the lawyers are of the opinion that Chinakwe did not commit any criminal offence.
Speaking with Newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday, the in-coming Second National Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Monday Ubani, said, “In the eye of the law, it is not criminal for somebody to name his or her dog after another person.
“I understand that a particular dog was named after a neighbour and both of them were not in good terms in a Hausa community somewhere in the South-West.
“It may be offensive by examining the circumstances under which the incident happened. So expediency would have prevailed on him not to name his dog after somebody he was quarrelling with.
“Anything you are doing must be with wisdom. The Bible says wisdom profited for direction. If such a thing would provoke unnecessary argument, you should avoid it,” Ubani advised.
Another Lagos-based lawyer, Tunji Muyedeen, also stated that, “As far as I am concerned, there is no way such offence could be sustained in law.
“The motive of an accused is never and can never be established by the charge: it must be established by evidence. Anybody can name his pet after anybody’s name. He can even call the pet his name.
“However, spurious charge or charges may be preferred against such person. We will see what evidence the prosecution has to prosecute the accused person.
“All of us will be living witnesses to the trial of the man,” Muyedeen also stated.
He had been charged to court by the police with conduct likely to cause breach of the peace, in a case with suit number MOT/617c/2016.
The Chief Magistrate, B. J. Ojikutu, adjourned the case till September 19, 2016.