By Ike Uchechukwu
A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State, has remanded a Social Activist, Barr. Joseph Odok after being charged with incitement and terrorism.
Vanguard Newspaper learnt that he was remanded before his bail terms were heard.
The former Univerisity of Calabar lecturer, activist was arrested on the 26th September 2019 from his residence in Abuja and transported by road to Calabar on the 27th September 2019 by the men of the Nigeria Police (Special Anti-Robbery Squad).
He has been in Police detention for 26 days before being charged to Court. He first appeared in Court on Tuesday, October 22 2019, and now facing trial.
In a Charge No. FHC/CA/78C/2019, dated October 14, 2019, Odok was charged with the following two count charges; “(1) That you Joseph Odok ‘m’ and others now at large on or between the month of July – August 2019 in Calabar and Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did incite Cross Riverians to declare full-blown war between the people of Ugep – Osokom and Oku people of Cross River against themselves and carry out various unlawful acts to wit: terrorism which you knew are capable of undermining the state security of Cross River and Federal Republic of Nigeria and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1 (2) (a) (b) and (h) of the Terrorism Prevention Amendment Act, 2013.
“(2) That you Joseph Odok ‘m’ on or about in the month of July – August 2019 at Abuja and Calabar within the Jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did publish a false statement on Social Media on your Facebook account titled “Why Martins Orim must call his cult brother ‘General Iron’ to order” in order to cause alarm, hatred and disturb public peace in Cross River State for the purpose of bringing the reputation of Martins Orim down.
“All this in a bid to annoy him which you knew it will cause insult, enmity, hatred and ill will and incite the people of Cross River State to lunch an attack on him and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrimes Prohibition Prevention Act, 2015.”
It would be recalled that Governor Ayade’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita had earlier warned journalists, bloggers not to misinform the public stressing that the government will not fail to take legal actions against them if they wrote anything malicious and non-factual against the Government.
Odok pleaded not guilty of the charges before the Honourable Court.
Earlier, Odok’s (Defendant) Counsel, Barr. Osim did notify the Court in a petition demanding for bail, but the Prosecution Counsel, DSP Denis Tarhemba, Esq. said: “We are not ready to proceed because we were being served yesterday, so we are applying for adjournment”.
On his part, Justice Amobeda said the Prosecution has 90 days to detain the Defendant, adding that he gave them 45 days and they did file before that date. So, he adjourned the matter to 29 November 2019.
“For hearing the motion, the Defendant is to be remanded in the Prison Custody until the adjourned date”, Amobeda said.
Justice Amobeda is the same judge hearing the case of Citizen Agba Jalingo, major Ayade critic.
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