Nigerian Blogger Granted N3m Bail Over Alleged Defamatory Publication About Fidelity Bank CEO

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By Pina Peters

A Nigerian Blogger, Seun Oloketuyi, has been slammed with a N3 million bail by the Federal High Court in Lagos  for allegedly publishing a defamatory item about the CEO of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo.

The accused, was arraigned on a two-count charge for an alleged defamation of character.

He has since pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Mohammed Yunusa, who gave the ruling, also granted the accused two credible sureties in like sum. Yunusa said that one of the sureties must be a blood relation of the accused while the second surety must have a landed property in Lagos.

Counsel to the accused, Mr Muiz Bamire, had urged the court to grant the accused bail on liberal terms. He supported the bail application with affidavit and a written address.

The Prosecutor, Mr Olakanmi Omisope, had opposed the bail application with counter-affidavit.

Omisope had told the court that the accused committed the offences sometime in June in Lagos. He said the accused knowingly and intentionally published a defamatory story on the internet against Okonkwo, the CEO of Fidelity Bank. Omisope alleged that the accused published the defamatory story on, in order to annoy and insult Okonkwo.

He said the offences contravened Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act, 2015 and Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation.

NAN 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 an indecent obscene that is false by means of computer network is liable on conviction to a fine of N7, 000 or three years imprisonment or both.

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