BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Police in Osun State have dragged four young women before a Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Osogbo for allegedly defaming one of their female friends named Heritage Abdulmojeed on WhatsApp.
The accused persons, Christiana David, 26; Adeyemi Damilola, 21; Adebayo Olajide, 24; and Oluwakemi Serifat, 23; were slammed with four-count-charge bordering on defamation of character, conspiracy, threat to life and breach of peace.
The charge against them read that the defendants and one other at large, conspired to damage the victim’s reputation by posting her picture on WhatsApp group and writing that she (Heritage) was deflowered by her father, got impregnated by him, gave birth and sold the baby in order to cover the act.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Kayode Adeoye, alleged that the defendants created a WhatsApp group tagged, ‘Her daddy disvirgined her,’ and used Heritage’s picture as the group’s profile photo.
The offence was said to have been committed on October 3, 2022, at Number 3, Akindeko Street, Alekuwodo area, Osogbo.
The accused persons were said to have threatened to beat and injure Heritage.
Their charge read that “Christiana David, Adeyemi Damilola, Adebayo Olajide and Oluwakemi Serifat and one other at large, on the 3rd of October, 2022, at Number 3, Akindeko Street, Alekuwodo area, Osogbo, did defame one Abdulmojeed Heritage by editing her picture and tagging her with the inscription that she was deflowered by her father, (Heritage’s father) got her pregnant, sold the baby and post same on social media.
“You (defendants) did conduct yourselves in a manner to cause breach of the peace by creating a WhatsApp group named, ‘Her dad disvirgined her,’ with the picture of one Abdulmojeed Heritage.”
Adeoye said that the offence contradicts Section 373, punishable under sections 516, 375, 86(1) and 249(d) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Volume II Laws of Osun State of Nigeria, 2002.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the allegations.
While applying for their bail, their counsel, Najite Okobe, told the court that both the victim and the defendants were friends and that it was ‘devil’ that aggravated the matter among them.
The prosecutor, however, objected to the oral bail application on the ground that the defendants had no traceable addresses.
Adeoye, who said that the father of the complainant is a high ranking military officer, noted that the lives of the defendants may be at risk should they be granted bail.
Olusola Aluko, Chief Magistrate, faulted the prosecutor’s ground of objection, saying, “Did you mean that the military officer would kill them or what? Nobody is above the law and nobody has any right to attack another.”
Aluko overruled the prosecutor’s objection and granted the four defendants bail in the sum of N100, 000 each with one surety in like sum.
The case was adjourned till October 24 for mention.