Court Remands In Prison Online News Publisher Charged With Defamation

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday remanded in Ikoyi Prisons, the publisher of a news website, Naijahottestgist.com, charged with publishing a defamatory story against Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Fidelity bank PLC.

The accused, Seun Oloketuyi, 39, was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Yunusa, by the police in Lagos, on a two-count charge bordering on defamation.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges after they were read out to him.

Delivering ruling on an “oral application“ for the bail of the accused by Mr A.A Adetunji, his counsel, Justice Yunusa refused the oral application and remanded him in Ikoyi prison, pending the hearing of a formal bail application.

Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr Olakanmi Omisope, told the court that sometime in June, in Lagos, the accused, knowingly and intentionally, published the alleged false and defamatory story on the internet in www.naijahottestgist.com, to annoy and insult Okonkwo.

According to him, the offences contravene Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act, 2015, and Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation.

The Street Journal reports that Section 24 (1) of the Cybercrime Act provides that “any person who intentionally or knowingly sends a message which is grossly offensive or obscene and found to be false, by means of computer network, is liable on conviction to a fine of N7, 000 or three years imprisonment or both.”

However, while the prosecutor urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial, his counsel asked the court to allow him make an oral application for bail of his client, which was refused by the trial judge.

The judge adjourned the case to September 1, for hearing of the “formal“ application for bail of the accused.

Author: newsadmin2

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