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Court grants blogger N5m bail for alleged cyberstalking of Buhari’s appointee, Simbi Wabote

The Yenagoa Division of the Federal High Court on Friday admitted a Bayelsa-based blogger, Bara Ogidi, charged with alleged cyberstalking, to bail of 5 million naira.

The SSS secret police have indicted Mr. Ogidi, over an alleged false report targeting the executive secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote.

Mr. Ogidi, publisher of a new online media, Tracknews, faces two counts of cyberstalking.

Ruling on the bail application filed by Mr Ogidi’s lawyer, Temedie Great, Trial Judge Isa Dashen ordered that the surety be a responsible citizen who resides and owns property in the comes from the court.

He further ordered that in the alternative, if the surety is a public servant, the surety shall not be below the rank of a director.

The judge adjourned the case until July 25 for further trial and ruled that the accused should remain in the custody of Nigeria’s Okaka Correctional Center in Yenagoa.

Mr Ogidi accused Mr Wabote of offering him 10 million naira to induce him to testify on his behalf in a libel suit brought by the NCDMB executive secretary against Jackson Ude, a US-based journalist, according to the SSS.

Mr Wabote previously sued Mr Ude in US court for defamation. He claimed the reporter defamed his character in an online post on Pointblanknews.com, where the reporter accused him of financially compromising his position and abusing his office privileges as NCDMB boss as Nigeria prepared to launch Liquefied Natural Gas Train 7.

The SSS said the publication caused annoyance, enmity, hatred and ill will towards Mr Wabote.

Cyberbullying is contrary and punishable under section 24(1)b of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015, the secret police said.

(NOPE)