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Tue, Sep 12, 2023 8:20 PM

Nigeria Court Orders Release or Charge of Man Detained for Allegedly Defaming Fashola

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Nigeria Court Orders Release or Charge of Man Detained for Allegedly Defaming Fashola
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Nigeria has ordered the police to either charge or release Chike Ibezim, who has been detained for allegedly defaming former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. This follows the police's act of disobedience of a previous court order for his release. Mr. Ibezim has been in custody for over a month due to a malicious publication he allegedly posted online. The court emphasized that the police must comply with the order and stated that the bail conditions presented were unacceptable. The police announced that their investigation established a case of malicious publication and cyberbullying against the suspect, which will soon be taken to court.

The Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja has issued yet another order to the police to either charge or immediately release Chike Ibezim. Mr. Ibezim has been detained for over a month for allegedly defaming Babatunde Fashola, the former Minister of Works and Housing in Nigeria.

The court's order, issued on Friday, reaffirms the one it had earlier issued on August 30, highlighting the police's "act of disobedience" towards the court's order.

The judge, Olueymisi Adelaja, sitting in the Kubwa division of the court, expressed her disapproval of the police's actions, stating that "the act of disobedience of the express orders of the court is unacceptable."

The court specifically mentioned that the bail conditions set by the police were unacceptable and required either the immediate release of the detainee or for the police to charge him with any disclosed offenses.

Chike Ibezim was arrested on August 10 at his office in Maitama, Abuja, following an alleged malicious publication made online regarding the drafting of a judgement by the Presidential Election Petition Court and the deployment of soldiers around Mr. Fashola's residence.

Further investigation revealed that the phone line used to make the post was registered in Mr. Ibezim's name. However, Mr. Ibezim denied knowledge of the post being made, despite confirming that the phone number belonged to his company.

The police spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, announced that the police had completed their investigation and would soon be charging Mr. Ibezim with malicious publication, cyberbullying, and other related offenses.

Following a suit filed by Mr. Ibezim to secure his release from police detention, the FCT High Court ordered the police on August 30 either to release him or charge him in court immediately. However, the police refused to comply with the court order and continued to detain him.

The latest order by the court emphasizes the importance of the police's compliance with the order, as it is "in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria with particular reference to Section 35(4) and 35(5) of that Constitution".

It remains to be seen if the police will finally release Mr. Ibezim or move forward with charging him in court as instructed by the court.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-12 News

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