Benue court sends applicant to prison over Facebook posts

Benue court sends applicant to prison over Facebook posts

Friday, August 9, 2019 5:31 pm


A Magistrates’ Court in Makurdi on Friday, ordered that an applicant,  Elijah Tule,36, who allegedly defamed the character of the Chairman of Benue Independent Electoral Commission (BESIEC) on Facebook, Mr Joseph Loko, be remanded in prison custody.

The police charged Tule, who resides in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue, with defamation of character and intimidation punishable under Sections 393 and 398 of the Penal Code Laws of Benue, 2004.

The Magistrate, Mr Peter Chaha, agreed with the prosecution counsel, Insp Gabriel Ahbadu, that the accused person’s offence, was not ordinarily bailable.
Chaha adjourned the matter until Sept 9, for further mention.
Earlier,  Agbadu told the court that the case was received by the Benue Commissioner of Police on July 25, 2019 through a petition by a lawyer, Ochai Onazi of Ochai Onazi and Co of Modern Market Road, Makurdi on behalf of Loko.
He said that in the petition, the defendant on June 24, wrote a false publication on his Facebook page against the BESIEC Chairman.
The prosecution alleged that the defendant wrote that the BESIEC Chairman was a gambler, a debtor and a fraudster.
Agnadu said that the posting which was injurious to Loko’s personality, also generated more negative comments against him from 49 of the accused person’s Facebook friends.
The prosecution informed the court that investigation into the matter was still ongoing and urged  the court to remand the defendant, pending police investigation.
After the charge was read to Tule, he pleaded not guilty.

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