Police drag blogger to court for alleged cyberstalking, defamation of PAP leadership

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The Nigeria Police Force, National Cybercrime Centre (NPF- NCCC), on Thursday, arraigned a suspected instigator, Mienapoma Saint, before a Federal High Court in Abuja, following his alleged involvement in cyberstalking and defamation of character of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), and its leadership.

Saint, who is associated with Naija Live TV, reportedly disseminated information found to be false and likely to cause a breach of the peace and threats to life.

The Police NCCC Unit had arraigned Saint before Justice Emeka Nwite on a three-count charge of alleged cyberstalking and defamation of character of PAP and its leadership.

But when the three-count charge was read, Saint pleaded not guilty to the offence.

Justice Nwite consequently adjourned the matter till December 4 and directed that Saint should be remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre, Abuja. 

The arraignment of Saint by the Police NCCC Unit was sequel to the petition received against him. 

In a statement made available by the NPF- NCCC, the centre stated that its operatives, upon thorough investigation into the complaint, detained Saint in its custody on October 10, in Yenegoa

The statement reads in part, “In an effort targeted at sanitizing the digital space and protecting its users, Officers of the Nigeria Police Force – National Cybercrime Center (NPF-NCCC) have concluded a thorough investigation into a complaint of alleged cyberstalking, defamation of character, acts likely to cause a breach of the peace, and threats to life. As a result, one Mienapoma Saint, associated with Naija Live TV, was taken into custody on the 10th of October 2023 in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.

“The suspect had made serious allegations against the Amnesty program and its leadership, implicating them in various heinous activities. These accusations, investigated and found to be false, were originally disseminated through an online blogging site, Naijalivetv.com, and a Facebook account connected to the suspect. 

“The arrest, which was executed with the utmost professionalism, became necessary after carrying out a discreet investigation and conducting threat assessments on a series of posts linked to the suspects. The inciting and misleading posts were not just maliciously targeted at the program but touches upon sensitive matters that are integral to the unity of the Niger Delta Region and has the potential to disrupt peace and harmony in the Area. 

“The Nigeria Police Force’s National Cybercrime Center (NPF-NCCC) and relevant authorities take these issues seriously, and emphasize the importance of responsible journalism, accurate reporting, and respect for the rights and reputation of individuals. 

“The Director, NPF-NCCC, CP Uche Ifeanyi Henry, while nothing that the Center, as a critical unit in fostering the technological driven policing mandate of the Inspector General of Police IGP Kayode Egbetokun, will not sit in docile stupefaction and watch malicious individuals hide behind the pseudo-anonymity provided by the cyberspace in ripping a fiber in the unity of the Nation apart . He added that False allegations, cyberstalking, and the spread of information likely to incite discord will not be tolerated.

“The Nigeria Police Force remains committed to upholding the principles of justice, fairness, and maintaining peace within our communities. 

“While the suspect is being arraigned in court today, November 2 2023, his arrest and prosecution should serve as a reminder that accountability and truthfulness in journalism are paramount in our society.”

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