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Cybercrime alleged blogger faces another wait in jail as trial stalls

Ofoegbu has been detained for more than two weeks, accused of criminal intimidation, threatening a person's life, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying.

Ofoegbu is facing charges of criminal intimidation, threat to life, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying, and has been in detention for over two weeks. [David Exodus/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Ofoegbu, who faces charges of criminal intimidation, threat to life, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying, has been in detention for over two weeks.

Pulse gathered that, due to the court's inability to convene, Ofoegbu will remain in prison custody until April 18, 2024, when the new date for the bail ruling will be scheduled.

A court employee revealed that the Chief Magistrate has been unwell for a few days, leading to his inability to preside over cases in the court.

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The court staff member, who pleaded anonymity, said, "My Lord is not feeling fine. Yesterday, I called him, and from his voice, I observed he was not feeling well. I just made a call now, and he told me that he is seriously down."

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has initiated legal proceedings against a blogger, accusing them of multiple offences, including criminal intimidation, threats to life, cyberstalking, and cyberbullying targeting Evangelist Ebuka Obi, the founder of Zion Prayer Movement.

During the court session, the lawyer representing the accused blogger, Mr Marvin Omorogbe, requested the court to revoke the remand order against his client and either release them from the Keffi Correctional Center or grant them bail as an alternative option.

In response, Omorogbe argued that the police allegedly forged certain exhibits attached to their counter affidavit opposing the bail request, raising legal objections.

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“The purported wanted person notice was forged. That was why they made photocopy of it to confuse the court. The court should not accord any value to the exhibits. The documents do not meet the minimum standard of the evidence Act,” he submitted.

The defence attorney argued that the police failed to provide evidence to support their charges during the proceedings at the Magistrate court.

He claimed that the police obtained the remand order unlawfully by withholding crucial information, and since the order had expired, he requested the court to grant bail to his client.

After hearing arguments from both parties, Chief Magistrate Iyanna postponed the ruling on the matter.

This relates to the case of a social media content creator who was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill the founder and spiritual leader of the Zion Prayer Movement.

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In a video posted on his Facebook page, Ofoegbu purportedly made threats against the cleric, including decapitation, and also threatened harm to any police officer who tried to apprehend him.

In another post, Ofoegbu carried a placard on which he wrote, “Evangelist Ebuka Obi is a criminal and liar” and tagged all the miracles in Zion Prayer Movement as deceits, urging the police to arrest him for turning his religious institution into a business enterprise.

A petition was submitted to the Inspection General of Police (IGP) regarding threats against Evangelist Ebuka Obi's life and cyber-bullying.

Following this, the police in Abuja arrested and detained a blogger as per the petition.

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