Court Remands Ebonyi PDP Spokesman Over Alleged Malicious Publication Against Lawmaker

Court Remands Ebonyi PDP Spokesman Over Alleged Malicious Publication Against Lawmaker

By Oswald Agwu

Ebonyi State Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nwoba Chika Nwoba has been arraigned before a Magistrate court sitting in Abakaliki, the state capital.

Nwoba was arraigned on Thursday over alleged malicious publication on his facebook page against the federal lawmaker representing Ikwo/Ezza South federal constituency of the State, Hon. Chinedu Ogah.

The event marked his second consecutive arraignment within 24 hours.

Nwoba was on Wednesday, arraigned and remanded over similar offence against Governor David Umahi which the police said was punishable under section 516 A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 33 Vol. 1 Laws of the state, 2009 and Section 5 (1) (a) of the state Cybercrimes(Prohibition) Law No.012 of 2021.

In the recent matter, Nwoba was arraigned on six count charge bothering on false news with intent to cause fear and alarm to the public.

The charges read that the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in his facebook posts, portrayed Hon. Chinedu Ogah as insignificant and unfit to be a House of Representatives member.

The posts also portrayed the lawmaker as greedy and corrupt, and further as a terrorist, land grabber, deceiver, timid and non-achiever thereby causing annoyance, inconvenience and insult to the federal lawmaker.

After the six-count charges were read before the defendant, his counsel, Luke Nkwegu urged the court to strike out the charges against Nwoba, arguing that the charges were brought against his client by the police in bad faith to deliberately keep him behind bars.

Nkwegu further argued that the Cybercrimes Prohibition Law of the state upon which Nwoba was being tried, was not gazetted, insisting that ungazetted law can not be relied upon.

He therefore, prayed the court to grant the defendant bail.

The Police Prosecutor, ASP Mathias Eze, however, opposed Nkwegu’s submission on the grounds that the assent of the Governor or the president, as the case may be was sufficient to give validity to any law.

Eze told the Court: “We submit that the validity of a law enacted by an act of parliament, however it may be is determined by the assent of the Governor or President.”

He urged the court to remand Nwoba in custody.

The trial Magistrate, Blessing Chukwu, in her ruling, maintained that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
She ordered that the accused be remanded in police custody in compliance with Covid-19 protocol.

She also ordered that the case file be transmitted to the State Attorney General, Department of Police Prosecution.
She adjourned the matter to February 4.

Recall that Nwoba left the All Progressives Congress as its publicity secretary to the Peoples Democratic Party where he assumed same position, shortly after Governor Umahi decamped to the APC from the PDP in November, 2020.