PDP spokesperson arraigned for criticising federal lawmaker on Facebook

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The spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ebonyi State, Chika Nwoba, has been arraigned in a Magistrate Court in Abakaliki, the state capital for alleged publication of false, malicious and defamatory materials on Facebook against a federal lawmaker from the state.

The lawmaker, Chinedu Ogah represents Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

This is the second time Mr Nwoba has been arraigned within two days.

He was arraigned on Wednesday, accused of publishing false information on Facebook against the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.

For Thursday’s case, Mr Nwoba is accused of portraying the federal lawmaker as being unfit to be in the House of Representatives.

The prosecution said the alleged publications portrayed Mr Ogah as ”greedy and corrupt, a terrorist, land grabber, deceiver, timid and non-achiever”.

After the six-count charges were read to Mr Nwoba, his counsel, Luke Nkwegu, urged the court to strike out the charges against his client.

He said the charges were brought against Mr Nwoba by the police in bad faith to keep him behind bars.

Mr Nkwegu argued that the Cybercrimes Prohibition Law of the state, under which Mr Nwoba was being tried, was not gazetted. An ungazetted law, the lawyer said, was not a law.

Chinedu Ogah
Chinedu Ogah

He prayed the court to grant his client bail.

But the police prosecutor, Mathias Eze, opposed Mr Nkwegu. He urged the court to remand Mr Nwoba.

“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 told the court.

The magistrate, Blessing Chukwu, said the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter and ordered that Mr Nwoka be remanded in police custody in line with Covid-19 protocol.

She ordered that the case file be transmitted to the state attorney general, Department of Public Prosecution.

The case was adjourned to February 4.

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