A Facebook critic, Mr. Ifere Paul has been arraigned before the Cross River Magistrate sitting in Calabar.
Mr Paul was charged on a four-count charge with number MC.1140/c/2017 by the Cross River State Commissioner of Police, CP Hafiz Inuwa over his critic of Governor Ben Ayade’s administration
It read: “that you Ifere Paul ‘M’ on the 19th day of August 2017, at about 1709hrs 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 stooped 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 whatapp social media account to one Goody 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. – 1-year Misdemeanour”.
“The second count of the same charge also bordering on the same petition from Goddy Akpama was for an offence of a misdemeanour punishable under Section 375 of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol.3, Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria. 1-year Misdemeanour.
Another charge bordered on his (IferePaul) facebook post, which he made and published on the 8th and 9th of July 2019 at Ugep, within Ugep Magistrate District.
It read thus: “Breaking news: More Robberies and Kidnappings coming your way. That is the price you pay where a Governor shuttles the world signing MoUs, meanwhile there was no homeland security or police to fight the robbers”.
The police said the above was with intent to raise false alarm and cause fear among citizens, residents, inhabitants, visitors and members of the general public in Cross River State and he thereby committed an offence punishable under section 59 (1) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol.111, laws of Cross River State of Nigeria 2004. – three years misdemeanour.
The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The prosecution counsel, Barrister Ofem Mbang, leading three others in his team told the court that he has no reasons under the law to oppose his bail application.
Lead defence counsel, Barrister Utum Eteng, leading five others in defence immediately moved a motion for bail to be granted his client, citing the fact that the charges were not only ridiculous before the law but clearly bailable.
The Presiding Magistrate, Chief Magistrate E.E. Edogi granted bail to Mr. Ifere Paul, in the sum of N1m, a surety in the persona is known chief executive of a company or an organization and should be resident in Calabar and has a landed property.