The police in Lagos on Tuesday arraigned a publisher of a news website, Naijahottestgist.com, before a Federal High Court, Lagos for allegedly publishing a defamatory story against the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc.
The accused, Seun Oloketuyi, 39, is standing trial on a two-count charge bordering on defamation.
The Prosecutor, Mr Olakanmi Omisope, told the court that the accused committed the alleged offences sometime in June, in Lagos.
He said that the accused, knowingly and intentionally, published a defamatory story on the internet against one Mr Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc.
Omisope alleged that the accused published the said defamatory story in www.naijahottestgist.com, in order to annoy, and insult Okonkwo.
The prosecutor also alleged that the accused knew that the information he published was false.
The false story claimed that Okonkwo impregnated staff of the bank, causing her husband to leave the house. The story claimed that the MD had taken responsibility for the woman’s two kids. Even though Oloketuyi later took down the post and apologised, it was not good enough.
The prosecutor said in court that the offences contravened Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention) Act, 2015, and Section 375 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38, Laws of the Federation.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor, however, urged the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial.
Counsel to the Accused, Mr A. A. Adetunji, asked the court to allow him make an oral application for bail of the accused.
However, the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Yunusa, in his ruling, remanded the accused in Ikoyi prison, and adjourned the case to Sept. 1, for hearing of a formal application for bail.
NAN reports that Section 24 (1) of the Cybercrime Act provides that any person who intentionally or knowingly sends a message which is grossly offensive or obscene and found to be false, by means of computer network, is liable on conviction to a fine of N7, 000 or three years imprisonment or both.