Calabar Magistrate Court Admits Ifere Paul On Bail, Adjourns Case For Hearing

In Breaking News, National News, Politics, Reports

By Archibong Jeremiah

Social media critic, Mr. Ifere Paul was today 23/10/2017 arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Calabar and presided over by E. E. Edogi Esq (Chief Magistrate Grade One).

Mr. Ifere who is standing trial on two separate criminal charges, is accused of circulating injurious publications through his WhatsApp and Facebook social media pages respectively.

The Magistrate adjourned the case to Tuesday, 21st November, 2017 after first appearance this morning.

E. Edogi Esq. Chief Magistrate, who presided over the case after hearing from both parties allowed the accused to be admitted to bail in the sum of one million naira and one surety in like sum.

In Charge No. MC/1140C/2017 between COMMISSIONER OF POLICE v IFERE PAUL ‘M’ 41 YEARS, the charges read thus:

“That you Ifere Paul ‘M’ on the 19th day of August 2017 at about 1709 hrs at Calabar, within the Calabar Magisterial District published, posted and sent a message which partly reads ‘You will live and die a beggar. Concentrate on the monies you receive to give a pro-Ayade speech in Obudu. Importantly, don’t forget you were part of my informers. Remember that it is me you normally call when they threaten to kill. Have it in mind that it was me who stopped Prince Michael Abuo from sending cultists to you. Above all I have dashed you monies to take care of your needs … Your father Achibong Inah Akpama, Obol, Onun-eko of Nko must be turning in his grave now.”, through your whatsapp social media account to one Goddy Akpama ‘M’ with intent to intimidate and threaten him and his reputation and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 366 (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16 Vol. 3. Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria. 2004.’

“That you Ifere Paul ‘M’ on the 19” day of August 2017, at about 1709 hrs at Calabar within the Calabar Magisterial District unlawfully published, posted and sent a message which partly reads “You will live and die a beggar. Concentrate on the monies you receive to give a pro-Ayade speech in Obudu Importantly, don’t forget you were part of my informers. Remember that it’s me you normally call when they threaten to kill. Have it in mind that it was me who stopped Prince Michael Abuo from sending cultists to you. Above all I have dashed you monies to take care of your needs….Your father Achibong Inah Akpama, Obol, Onun-eko of Nko must be turning in his grave now.”, through your whatsapp social media account to one Goddy Akpama ‘M’ knowingly to be false with Intent to damage and injure the reputation of the said Goddy Akpama and expose him to ridicule and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 375 of the Criminal Code. Cap C16. Vol. 3. Laws of Cross River State.”

Ifere Paul (behind) in the dock and one of his lawyers, Barrister Akwaji Henry

In a separate charge, No. MC: 1141C/2017), Mr. Ifere  was accused thus: “That you Ifere Paul between the day of 8-9 July 2016, at Ugep, within Ugep
Magisterial district, made a publication titled “Breaking News: More robberies and kidnapping coming your way. That is the price you pay when the governor shuttles the world signing MoUs. Meanwhile there was no homeland security or police to fight the robbers.” in your facebook social media account – Ifere Paul, knowing this to be false, with intent to raise false alarm and cause fear among citizens, residents, inhabitants, visitors and members of the general public in Cross River State thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 59 (l) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol. Ill, Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria 2004.

“That you Ifere Paul ‘M’ between the 8th and 9th day of July 2016, at Ugep, within Ugep Magisterial District, made a seditious publication titled “Breaking News: More robberies and Kidnappings coming your way. That is the price you pay when a Governor shuttles the world signing MoUs. Meanwhile there was no homeland security or Police to fight the robbers.” in your Facebook social media account – Ifere Paul, with intent to bring hatred, contempt and excite disaffection among members of the public, against the person of Senator Professor Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 51 (C) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol. Ill, Laws of Cross River state 2004.

Our Reporter who was at the court says Ifere, elected summary trial before the Magistrate Court and pleaded not guilty to all the criminal charges.

After listening to the oral bail application made by Chief Utum Eteng, who led a battalion of lawyers in defence of Ifere, the presiding Magistrate agreed that the charges were misdemeanors and therefore bailable.

Accordingly, he admitted Ifere on bail in the following terms;

“Bail is hereby granted in favor of the accused in the sum of One Million Naira and one Surety in like sum.

“Surety must depose to an affidavit of means and deposit two passport sized photographs.

“Surety must be an executive of a registered political party in Nigeria and must present his I.D Card.

“Court duty police must verify surety’s address within jurisdiction.”

The State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Ochala who was present in Court, promptly signed the bail papers and Ifere Paul was seen driven away by the APC Chairman.

Meanwhile, the Court adjourned the case to Tuesday 21/11/2017 for further hearing.

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