Blogger jailed for defamation: Seun Oloketuyi in hot water over story

A Federal High Court sit­ting in Lagos on Tues­day granted bail to a blogger, Seun Oloketuyi, who is being prosecuted by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police over alleged malicious publication against Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Nnamdi Okonkwo.

Oloketuyi was, at the last adjourned date, ordered to be remanded in prison by Justice Mohammed Yunusa after he was arraigned on a two-count charge.

Oloketuyi, who is organizer of the annual Best of Nollywood Awards, was said to have pub­lished a news report on his blog where he alleged that Okonkwo had a love relationship with a married lady in the marketing department of the bank.

In the report, Oloketuyi had further alleged that the extra-marital affair between Okonk­wo and the said lady simply identified as Justina, resulted in the birth of a baby, and that the affair also destroyed the marriage of the said Justina.

He had further alleged that Okonkwo had since sent the affected lady abroad to further her studies.

Okonkwo had petitioned the police, and after investiga­tion, Oloketuyi was charged to court.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, Oloketuyi’s lawyer, Muiz Banire argued the bail application of his client, and stressed that the police was yet to file the proof of evidence, and that the list of witnesses in the trial was not filed.

He said the charge against Oloketuyi was tantamount to someone just waking up and unleashing a sheet of paper on the court, adding that the charge was properly not filed in the first place.

While arguing that the of­fence for which Oloketuyi was charged was a bail able one, Banire said: “My client is an entrepreneur and a journalist. This is civil case. If you feel that you have been libeled, the proper thing would have been to institute a legal action.

“The accused was already harassed and wounded by the Department of State Security (DSS) before he was charged to court by the SFU. There is noth­ing like fraud in the charge. I passionately urge the court to grant him bail,” Banire sub­mitted.

Responding, the prosecutor, Olakanmi Omisope vehement­ly urged the court to refuse the bail, and argued that the court should rather give expeditious trial.

He added: “We are also inves­tigating the accused person for similar crime against others. He is a serial blackmailer and I urge the court to refuse the bail application.”

In a bench ruling, Justice Yunusa said he was satisfied to grant bail to the accused, and admitted him to bail in the sum of N3 million with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties must be a blood relation of the accused and must have evidence of landed property in Lagos.

 

National Mirror

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