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Blogger Remanded Over Malicious Publication: Charged with cybercrime offence, not libel law

A Nigerian blogger, Desmond Ike Chima, was arraigned at the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday for allegedly publishing two defamatory stories against United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc Managing Director, Philips Oduoza. He was first arraigned at Igbosere Magistrate Court on 19 October and granted bail in the sum of N100,000.

The police said he connived with some persons who are at large to post a story entitled: Randy UBA MD, Philips Oduoza in adultery mess…romances star actress, Genevieve Nnaji.

The offence for which Chima was accused to have committed is covered by the civil law of libel. But he was arraigned on a two- count charge of cybercrime before Justice Mohammed Yunusa.

The blogger was also alleged to have posted a second with the title: Randy UBA MD, Philips Oduoza’s wife to divorce him over affairs with actress Genevieve.
(Read our earlier story:Chima, who owns myemag.net and e-Nigeria.com had since been arraigned at Igbosere Magistrate Court, slammed with a 5-count charge of felony.
Police prosecutor, Henry Obiazi, claimed the blogger published the stories knowing them to be false.

According to him, it was for the purpose of annoying Oduoza and causing him ill will and needless anxiety.
Obiazi claimed that Chima violated Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Desmond Ike Chima ‘m’ and others now at large, in March 2015, at Ojodu, Lagos, in the Lagos Judicial Division, intentionally sent or published an article by means of computer on the Internet entitled: ‘Randy UBA MD, Philips Oduoza in adultery mess…romances star actress, Genevieve Nnaji…’ for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to the said Philips Oduoza and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2015.”

Chima pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Justice Yunusa adjourned to November 6 for hearing of his bail application.

*Reported by TheNation

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