The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Uyo has ordered the remand of a 40-year-old man Idongesit Ezekiel Ibooks for allegedly defaming Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel on Facebook.
Idiok, aka “Soundcraft”, is to remain in police custody pending the advice of the State Director of Public Prosecutions in a charge of Cybercrime levelled against him by the Police.
The Court presided over by Senior Magistrate Ini-Ifiok Isong, also ordered that the original case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for the arraignment of the accused person before the appropriate Court.
The order is coming following a petition to the Police over a case of criminal defamation of the character of Governor Emmanuel.
The accused person with a Facebook name “Soundcraft Owo OBA” is said to have made a social media publication on March 16, 2022, containing offensive words against the Governor, which the complainant described as false and malicious.
The offense is punishable under Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015.
At the hearing of the matter at the Magistrate Court, Senior Magistrate Ini-Ifiok Isong, said by the virtue of Section 50 of the Cybercrime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015, the jurisdiction to hear the case is vested in the Federal High Court.
Senior Magistrate Isong ordered that pursuant to Section 315 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Law of Akwa Ibom State as amended, the case file be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions and the accused person remanded in Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre.
Speaking after the hearing, Samuel Ikpo, who was watching the brief for the Governor, said the case would serve as a reminder that a poster of defamatory comments on social media including Facebook can be held liable for the damage caused by those comments.
The case, which is between the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State as complainant and Idongesit Ezekiel Idiok as an accused person, was adjourned to April 4 for an update.