A man based in Ogun State who is currently standing trial in court for naming his dog after President Muhammadu Buhari has earned the support of lawyers in Nigeria.
A group of lawyers interviewed by Vanguard reveal the young man has no criminal case to answer. The case hit the media when a neighbour from Sokoto State accused him of naming the dog ‘Buhari’, his own family name to taunt him.
The incoming Second National Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Monday Ubani, yesterday, said that no offence is committed by someone naming his dog after somebody else.
He said: “In the eye of the law, it is not criminal for somebody to name his or her dog after another person. It may be offensive by examining the circumstances under which the incident happened.
“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.
“So expediency would have prevailed on him not to name his dog after somebody he was quarrelling with.
“The Bible says wisdom profited for direction. Anything you are doing must be with wisdom. If such a thing would provoke unnecessary argument, you should avoid it.”
Another Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Tunji Muyedeen, said: “As far as I am concerned, there is no way such offence could be sustained in law. 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.
“All of us will be living witnesses to the trial of the man. We will see what evidence the prosecution has to prosecute the accused person.”
For human rights activist, Mr. Okey Nwaguna, prosecution must show that accused had the intent to cause breach of public peace.
He said: “The motive of an accused is never and can never be established by the charge: it must be established by evidence.
“Prosecution must show that accused had the intent to cause a breach of public peace. What constitutes ‘public’ is key.”