The Department of State Security (DSS) on Wednesday arraigned Mr Bara Ogidi for an alleged false report against the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Mr Simbi Wabote, at the Federal High Court in Yenagoa.
Ogidi, a Bayelsa-based publisher of Tracknews, is facing a two-count cyberstalking charge.
According to the charge, Ogidi had allegedly accused Wabote of offering him the sum of N10 million to lure him to testify in his favour in a defamation suit filed by the NCDMB Executive Secretary against Mr Jackson Ude.
Count 1: “CYBERSTALKING, contrary to and punishable under Section 24(1)b of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015”
“You, OGIDI BEN BARA, on February 11th, 2022, caused false information to be disseminated via various online newspaper outfits, including “THE EAGLE ONLINE.”
“Which you knew to be false, to wit that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote offered you the sum of Ten Million Naira (N10,000,000) for the purpose of luring you to testify in his favour in an alleged defamation suit filed by him against one Jackson Ude.”
“This publication caused annoyance, enmity, hatred, and ill will towards the said Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote.
“Count 2″ CYBERSTALKING, contrary to and punishable under Section 24(1)b of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015”
You, OGIDI BEN BARA, on 6th May 2022 via your online newspaper outfit-TRACKNEWS, disseminated false information which you knew to be false.
“To wit, that the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, in connivance with Shell Petroleum Development Company, excluded the people of Ekeremor Local Government from contracts at the East Area oilfields,”
However, the defendant Ogidi pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Subsequently, the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Victor Uchendu, sought an adjournment to enable the DSS to open its case.
Meanwhile, Semedie Peter, defense counsel, urged the court to grant bail to Ogidi, who has been in the custody of the DSS for 10 days, but Uchendu argued that he needed time to respond to the bail application.
Justice Isa Dashen, thereafter, adjourned until June 17, to hear the bail application and continuation of trial. He also remanded Ogidi at the Yenagoa Correctional facility until the adjourned date.