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PDP Publicity Secretary remanded for alleged cybercrime, libelous publication

Ebonyi State police command has arraigned the state’s Peoples Democratic Party’s publicity secretary, Chika Nwoba, in court for alleged cybercrime.

In the suit marked MAB/63c/2022, he was charged with six-count charges.

Chika Nwoba was accused of circulating false information via his Facebook page about Hon Chinedu Ogah the member representing Ezza South/Ikwo federal consistency in the National Assembly.

It was alleged the Publicity Secretary portrayed the House member as being insignificant and unfit to be a member of the House of Representatives, saying he was corrupt with activities terrorizing the state.

He was said to have committed an offence punishable under section 516A(a) of criminal code cap 33 volume 1 laws of Ebonyi state of Nigeria, sections 5(1)(a),5(1)(b) and 5(2)(i) all of the Ebonyi state cybercrimes prohibition law 2021.

The team of defense counsel led by Barr Luke Nkwegu applied for bail of the defendant, stressing that the charge was brought in bad faith but the application was opposed by the police prosecutor, ASP Mathias Ezeh.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Blessing Ibeabuchi-Chukwu, ordered that Nwoba be remanded in police custody for lack of jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court to hear such matters.

She ordered transfer of all documents, original case file and evidence to DPP for further prosecutions and adjourned the case till 4th day of February 2022, for report of compliance.

According to her “That you Nwoba Chika Nwoba ‘m’ on the 21st day of September 2021 at ikwo LGA within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did knowingly and intentionally publish and circulate false message via your Facebook profile known as Nwoba Chika Nwoba against comrade Chinedu Ogah portraying him as insignificant and unfit to be a house of Representatives member,a statement which is grossly offensive and likely to disturb public peace and thereby committed offence punishable under section 5(1)(a) of the Ebonyi state cybercrimes prohibition law No .012 of 2021.”

The lead defense counsel, Luke Nkwegu, granting interview to journalists shortly after the court session said, “The charge was brought in bad faith. It is a case of somebody complaining to police that another person wrote something portraying him as timid and non achiever and because of that police charge the accused to court.

“When you criminalize such a thing that means no one is going to speak again.

“Currently police in Ebonyi State has performed below expectations. Yes below expectations if it can bring such a charge against a citizen of the state. Well we will apply for his bail at the high court. We will proceed further to other courts to enforce his rights.”

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