Help! Bank chiefs now jail Nigerian bloggers

Help! Bank chiefs now jail Nigerian bloggers

Monday, October 19, 2015 3:20 pm

Phillip Oduoza: jails Chima

Phillip Oduoza: jails Chima

Nigerian bank bosses are now seeking the shield of the court and the police to protect themselves against Nigerian bloggers whose maxim seems to be: ‘everything fit to publish’. The bankers are also criminalising ‘libel’ or ‘defamation’.

In August, Nnamdi Okonkwo, managing director of Fidelity Bank made police to arrest and charge Seun Oloketuyi  of of  defaming him for writing a story linking him with a romantic tie with his bank staff.

Now, Phillip Oduoza , managing director of UBA Plc has also made the police arrest another  news blogger, Desmond Ike Chima, for linking him in trysts with popular Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji.

Reports said Chima was  arrested by the Federal Criminal Investigation Department over the story. Like was done to Oloketuyi, Chima has been remanded in Ikoyi Prison.

Desmond Ike Chima

Desmond Ike Chima

Chima, who owns and had since been arraigned at Igbosere Magistrate  Court, slammed with  a 5-count charge of felony.

This is how another blogger reported the drama:

“According to the prosecution, Chima had written an article titled “Randy UBA MD, Phillips Oduoza In Adultery Mess, Romances Star Actress, Genevieve Nnaji.”

“The aim of the article was to allegedly extort money from Oduoza.

“The Charge read in part: “That you Desmond Ike Chima and others still at large at the said date and place did publish or distribute an article deemed to be obscene against Phillips Oduoza entitled: RANDY UBA PLC MD, PHILLIPS ODUOZA’S WIFE TO DIVORCE HIM OVER AFFAIR WITH ACTRESS GENEVIEVE NNAJI.”

“Chima pleaded not guilty to the charges, and was granted bail in the sum of N100,000. The case has been adjourned till the 30th of October.”

Our take on this trend is that bank CEOs are rewriting the nation’s defamation laws and even in this case, obscenity laws.

It has long been a settled matter in law, that there is nothing called ‘criminal defamation’ or criminal libel. Defamation or libel is a civil matter. All the aggrieved needs to do is to take the defamer to the high court to seek reparation for the assassination of his character.

Bloggers need good lawyers to arrest this trend.

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  • Jessica Oladunni Onadipe says:

    The two bloggers were arrested and charged for Blackmail and extortion. Not just because they are bloggers The article they wanted to post was photoshopped onto the guy picture.

  • Adebayo Onanuga says:

    We are totally in support of your position. Blackmail is not part of journalism, it is a crime.

  • Ikem says:

    I am not sure I know so much about the laws of Libel but one thing is clear: a number of these bloggers need to be made to respect the journalism profession by playing by the rules. I am aware that these guys employ certain things that Journalism abhors. blackmail. Arm-twisting. Falsehood. A story one cannot verify MUST not be published. Anytime a journalist/blogger/citizen reporter asks for something in exchange for a story then he should be willing to take the anger of those who refuse to comply by resorting to the law. Blackmail is something we all should fight.

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