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Alleged Writing of Tribunal Judgment: FG begins trial of blogger

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Alleged Writing of Tribunal Judgment: FG begins trial of blogger

The Federal Government has opened the trial of a blogger, Victor Ibezim, who alleged that former Works and Housing Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, authored the judgments of the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) that dismissed the Labour Party (LP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s petitions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PEPC, which dismissed the petitions of Mr Peter Obi of LP and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of PDP, affirmed the election victory of President Bola Tinubu.

NAN reports that Ibezim, who was alleged to be one of the three persons linked to the publications, was arraigned before Justice Bolaji Olajuwon of a Federal High Court, Abuja on a six-count charge.

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The amended charge, marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/434/2023 and dated Oct. 17, 2023, was filed Oct. 18, 2023 by the Inspector-General (I-G) of Police.

Ibezim, who is the sole defendant, is charged with criminal conspiracy, cyber stalking, defamation, among others.

Justice Olajuwon had fixed April 15 for continuation of trial.

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In the charge, Ibezim with Jackson Udeh, Nnamdi Emmanuel Ibezim and Reportera.ng (body corporate) now at large on or about Aug. 5, 2023 in Abuja, were alleged to have committed the offence.

They were alleged to have criminally conspired and jointly “agreed to publish a defamatory statement of false allegations in their online social media, the reportera.ng news, against His Excellency Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, CON, without justification.”

The offence is said to be punishable under Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber-crime Prohibition, Prevention Act 2015, among other counts.

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