By A Correspondent
The Department of State Security (DSS) on Wednesday arraigned an online publisher, Mr Bara Ogidi, at Federal High Court in Yenagoa over an alleged false report against the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote.
Ogidi, the Bayelsa based publisher of Tracknews, is facing a two-count charge of cyberstalking.
According to the charge, Ogidi had allegedly accused Wabote of offering him the sum of N10 million to lure him to testify in Wabote’s favour in a defamation suit filed by the NCDMB Executive Secretary against Mr Jackson Ude.
The charge sheet reads: “Count 1: CYBERSTALKING, contrary to and punishable under Section 24(1)b of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.
“You, OGIDI BEN BARA, on 11th February, 2022, caused a false information to be disseminated via various online newspaper outfits including ‘THE EAGLE ONLINE’.”
“Which you knew to be false to wit that the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote offered you the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for the purpose of luring you to testify in his favour in an alleged defamation suit filed by him against one Jackson Ude.
“This publication caused annoyance, enmity, hatred and ill will towards the said Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
“COUNT 2: CYBERSTALKING, contrary to and punishable under Section 24(1)b of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015.
“You, OGIDI BEN BARA, on 6th May, 2022 via your online newspaper outfit, TRACKNEWS, disseminated a false information which you knew to be false.
“To wit, that the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, in connivance with Shell Petroleum Development Company, excluded the people of Ekeremor Local Government from contracts at the East Area oilfields.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogidi pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Subsequently, prosecuting counsel, Mr Victor Uchendu, sought an adjournment to enable DSS open its case.
Mr Semedie Peter, the defence counsel, however, urged the court to grant bail to Ogidi who has been in the custody of the DSS for 10 days, but Uchendu argued that he needed time to respond to the bail application.
The trial judge, Justice Isa Dashen, adjourned until June 17, to hear the bail application and continuation of trial and remanded Ogidi at the Yenagoa correctional facility until the adjourned date. (NAN)
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