A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital Tuesday, found guilty and sentenced to jail, five men over charges of cyber-stalking and defrauding an ex-Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Timothy Owoeye, of a sum of N38m.
This was as the jury recalled that sometime in 2018, a 13-second nude video of Owoeye had gone viral on the Internet wherein Owoeye was accosted by some people, who accused him of coming to their community to perform a ritual.
Following the release of the video, the Osun State Police Command reportedly arrested a group of men who were shown in the video and who were alleged to have used the clip to obtain around N38m from Owoeye before the clip was reportedly released on the Internet.
The convicts, Kazeem Agbabiaka, Rasheed Ojonla, Babatunde Oluajo, Adebiyi Kehinde, Femi Oseni, and Oyebanji Oyeniyi, were arraigned before the court on October 19, 2018, on five counts bordering on conspiracy; advance free fraud and cyber-stalking.
Delivering judgment on the case, the jury, Justice Ayo-Emmanuel said the convicts operated like a web syndicate, subjecting their victims to hardship and so, they deserved no leniency.
He subsequently passed a guilty verdict on them and sentenced Agbabiaka, Oyeniyi, Ojonla and Oluajo to five years imprisonment for conspiracy and advance-free fraud.
The judge, however, discharged and acquitted Ismaila Azeez, on the count bordering on cyberstalking, but found Oseni guilty of the same charge and sentenced him to five years imprisonment.
Many celebrities and high profile individuals in Nigeria have at several instances, had to deal with threats of their nude photos being released on the internet.
In many cases, the victims are subdued to emotional and psychological torture as they are caught in a dilemma, whether to ignore their accusers or risk public embarrassment.
Sadly however, these explicit videos are often still released even after the victims make very huge financial commitments.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah has been vindicated by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja who Tuesday, dismissed the allegation of forgery against him and imposed a fine of N5 million on the National Youth Servics Corps, NYSC, for alleging that the corps’ discharge certificate held by the governor was fake.
Mbah had sued the NYSC and its Director, Corps Certification, Ibrahim Muhammad, for publishing a disclaimer, denying the issuance of a discharge certificate issued to him on January 6, 2003.
But the NYSC, in its preliminary objection dated May 19 and filed May 22, sought an order dismissing or striking out the suit for want of jurisdiction and competence.
Delivering judgment on the matter on Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the certificate presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by Mbah, was authentic and validly issued by the NYSC.
Ekwo added that the Director-General of the NYSC and the corps, who were defendants in the suit, were guilty of misrepresentation of material facts.
The court said Mbah, midway into his service, sought and, after receiving permission from the NYSC to attend the Nigeria Law School, was reinstated into the NYSC in 2003.
The court held that with the unchallenged evidence of the plaintiff on how the discharge certificate was issued to him in 2003 by NYSC after serving in a law firm in Lagos and the inability of the Corps to come up with counter-evidence, it was crystal clear that the plaintiff served the mandatory one-year service.
Among others, Justice Ekwo held that the onus to prove forgery allegations lies heavily on the NYSC, stating that the organisation failed in that regard.
The court found that Mbah’s evidence was heavier and more believable.See Dollar(USD) to Naira Black Market Exchange Rate Today!