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Blogger To Remain In Custody As Trial Stalled Over Chief Magistrate’s Absence

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The absence of Chief Magistrate Iyanna Emmanuel of a Wuse Zone 6 Chief Magistrate Court has stalled the ruling on the bail application of a blogger, Mr. Chizorom Harrison Ofoegbu, popularly known as Ijele Speaks, who has been in detention for more than two weeks.

Following the inability of the court to deliver its ruling, Ofoegbu will remain in prison custody till April 18, 2024, the new date set for the ruling on the bail application.

The accused person is standing trial over alleged criminal intimidation, threat to life, cyberstalking and cyberbullying.

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A staff of the court told LEADERSHIP that the Chief Magistrate had been indisposed for some days, a development which led to his inability to attend to cases in his court.

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

The Police is prosecuting the blogger over the offences allegedly committed against the Founder and Spiritual Director of Zion Prayer Movement, Evangelist Ebuka Obi.

Counsel to the social media content creator, Mr. Marvin Omorogbe, had prayed the court to set aside the remand order granted against his client and order his release from the Keffi Correctional Center in Nasarawa State or in the alternative, admit him to bail.

Responding on points of law, Omorogbe told the court that the exhibits Police attached to the counter-affidavit it filed to oppose the bail request were forged.

“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,” the lawyer submitted.

He equally argued that the Police did not exhibit any charge in all the processes it brought before the Magistrate's Court.

The defence counsel contended that the remand order he said was illegally obtained by the police by gross suppression of facts had since elapsed.

He, therefore, prayed the court to release his client on bail.

After he had listened to submissions by both sides, Chief Magistrate Iyanna had adjourned the matter for ruling.

It will be recalled that the social media content creator was arrested over an allegation that he threatened to kill the founder and spiritual director of Zion Prayer Movement.

In a video he posted on his Facebook page, Ofoegbu allegedly threatened to kill the cleric and cut off his head.

He was also alleged to have threatened to kill any police officer who attempted to arrest him.

In another post, Ofoegbu carried a placard on which he wrote, “Evangelist Ebuka Obi is a criminal and liar,” and he urged the police to arrest him for turning his religious institution into a business enterprise.

The development led to the filing of a petition to the Inspection General of Police (IGP) on the threat to the life of Evangelist Obi and cyber-bullying against the blogger.


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