…May Sue Publisher/reporter for libel
By Uzo Ugwunze
Oba community in Idemili South has expressed shock and embarrassment over a false publication circulating the internet that some of her prominent citizens have been arraigned over the murder case of late Chinedu Nwabuagha.
The false publication claimed that the Anambra State Police Command arraigned six senior citizens from Oba on charges bordering on murder and conspiracy at Idemili South magistrate court sitting at Oba on February 5, 2021.
Speaking to our reporter, the Legal Adviser to Oba Patriotic Union (OPU), Chief Orlando SYZ Ibeakuzie refuted the unfounded reports saying that it is tantamount to defamation and character assassination.
“Oba community is flabbergasted and shocked when they saw on the internet a publication that some of her prominent citizens were arraigned in court over the murder case of Chinedu Nwabuagha.
“We made investigations and discovered that there was no such exercise in the court on February 5, 2021 the date mentioned as allegedly reported by Unini Chioma of thenigerialawyer.com.
“We are not saying that the murder case was right or wrong; it is left for the court to decide. The way this case is going seems that some persons have some personal interest in the matter.
“The six persons purported to be arraigned were not even at the scene of crime. Why the false publication that there was an arraignment thereby damaging the reputation of Oba community,” said Ibeakuzie.
A Royal Cabinet member, Chief Akonam Emekekwue, Akuatuegwu Oba who has been following up the case said that the six prominent members including the Acting President General were invited by the Police for questioning.
“The Police invited the six leaders which include the Acting PG, elderly and sick men. I was told to accompany them to the station. After questioning, OC homicide State CID said we should go and return in a fortnight.
“As we were about leaving the police station the new Deputy Commissioner requested to see them and decided that the six invitees should be detained saying that they would appear in court the next day.
“The next day we and our defense counsel waited in court all day for the police to arraign the six men allegedly accused but the police did not show up for any arraignment.
Moreover, the Defense Counsel for the suspects, Barrister Nnazimuzo A. Ugorji of Ugorji & Associates described the publication as scandalous, reckless and disparages the image of Oba community and that of his clients.
He called on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to rid the body of such persons and publishers who for personal interest engage in touting thereby endangering the profession.
“That publication is a high level of unethical journalism and touting. Before any journalist releases any information to the public, it should be verified. My clients were not arraigned; no charge was read to them.
“I am calling on NUJ Council to investigate this Chioma Unini who published this perhaps on a tip off by someone who is acting under pressure to please someone in other to assassinate someone’s character, “said Ugorji.