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Blogger arraigned by DSS for alleged cyberstalking gets bail

By Aherhoke Okioma

Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa at the weekend admitted to bail, a Bayelsa-based blogger, Bara Ogidi, facing trial for alleged cyberstalking for N5 million and a surety.

The Department of State Service (DSS) on Wednesday arraigned Ogidi, over an alleged false report targeted at the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote. Ogidi, a publisher of an online new media, Tracknews, is facing a two count charge of cyberstalking.

Ruling on the bail application filed by Ogidi’s counsel, Temedie Great, trial judge, Justice Isa Dashen, said that the surety must be a responsible citizen who resides and owns landed property within the court’s jurisdiction, Bayelsa. He further ruled that in the alternative, if the surety is a civil servant, the surety must not be below the rank of a Director. Also the surety must swear to an affidavit of means. The Trumpet Gathered

The judge adjourned the case until July 25, 2022, for continuation of trial and ruled that the defendant should remain in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Centre at Okaka in Yenagoa.

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.

“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 dis seminated 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(SPDC) excluded the people of Ekeremor Local Government from contracts at the East Area oilfields.”

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Ejime Udueme, a member of the Delta State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), reminded media practitioners of the need to stick to the ethics of the profession emphasizing that whatever they did could make or mar the forthcoming general elections.

The guest speaker reminded Christians and other Nigerians of the need to arm themselves with their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) to enable them vote for candidates of their choice in the 2023 general election.

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