Justice Mohammed Yunusa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered that a blogger, Chris Nwandu, be remanded in prison custody for allegedly aiding a blogger, Seun Oloketuyi, who is facing charges of defamation and cybercrime.
Nwandu, was on Thursday arraigned by the police for allegedly posting on his Facebook page the story published by Oloketuyi, regarding the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo.
He was said to have accompanied the story with some “purported” photographs of Okonkwo on his Facebook page.
Nwandu, who was arrested on Tuesday, was brought before the court yesterday on a two-count charge.
One of the counts read: “That you, Chris Kehinde Nwandu, acting in concert with one Seun Oloketuyi, on or about June 2015, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did knowingly or intentional send a message and pictures by means of computer system on your Facebook page purporting to be that of one Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director /CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, which you know to be false, for the purpose of causing him annoyance, insult and ill will and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”
The police prosecutor, Olakanmi Omisope, stated that Nwandu ‘is liable to punishment under Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation.’
If found guilty, the offence is said to carry a maximum of three years imprisonment or a fine of N7m or both.
Oloketuyi was on August 25, 2015 arraigned on two-count for allegedly publishing defamatory story on his blog, www.naijahottestgist.com, against Fidelity Bank boss.
He was accused of publishing on his blog that Okonkwo had an extramarital affair with one Justina, a married woman working in the Marketing Department of Fidelity Bank.
Oloketuyi was alleged to have added in the publication that the affair between Okonkwo and Justina resulted in Justina’s husband, Ben, sending her out.
Nwandu, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge slammed on him, following which the police prosecutor sought for a court order to remand him in prison custody.
“My Lord, in view of the plea of the accused person, we will be asking for an order remanding the accused in prison while we also seek an adjournment for trial,” Omisope said.
Counsel for the accused, Mudasiru Arhai, said he would be applying for his bail.
The judge, however, ordered that Nwandu should be remanded in prison custody while the matter was adjourned till September 7, 2015 for hearing of bail application bail.
However, in a short message service (sms) yesterday, Nwandu said he was arrested on Tuesday by police personnel and detained till Thursday morning (yesterday) when he was arraigned before a Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi.
“I have been in Police detention since Tuesday for a story I posted on Facebook, written by Seun Oloketuyi on MD of Fidelity Bank Plc. I appeared in court today. Still waiting.
“I have been remanded in Ikoyo Prison Custody by the Federal High Court, Ikoyi till Monday when my bail application will be heard,” he stated.