The police in Delta State on Thursday arraigned the Managing Editor of the BIGPEN Online newspaper, Joe Ogbodu and another journalist, Prince Amour Udemude, at the Magistrate court 5 Asaba, the state capital over a story on the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia and one Sam Ogrih.
The arraignment came following a story on the bloody oil crisis rocking Uzere community in Isoko South local government area of the state.
The former Chief of Defence Staff, General Ogomudia and one Ogrih, were been reportedly accused in the recent bloody N20m oil crisis in the publication for allegedly sponsoring and funding the armed youths in the community.
The armed youths codename “Freedom Fighters Volunteers”, were allegedly constituted in the community to wade off suspected infiltrators but grew up to be allegedly unleashing mayhem in the community.
The former army chief, Gen. Ogomudia who hails from Uzere and one Sam Ogrih, allegedly been accused had since denied their alleged involvement in a seperate telephone conversation and were well represented in the said publication.
But in a twist of fate, the two journalist were charged to court with suit nos: CMA/425c/2019, for alleged misdemeanor to wit defamatory publication.
In the 5 count charges read to journalists and obtained by BIGPEN the Count 1 and II read thus:
That you Prince Amour Udemude ‘m’ and Joe Ogbodu ‘m’ and others now at large, in the month of October 2019, while in Asaba, within Asaba Magisterial District, did conspired among yourselves to commit misdemeanour to wit Defamatory Publication and thereby committed an offence publishable under Section 517 of the Criminal Code Law Cap. C21 of Delta State 2006.
Count II: That you Prince Amour Udemude ‘m’ and Joe Ogbodu ‘m’ and others now at large, in the month of October 2019, while in Asaba, within Asaba Magisterial District, with intent to injure the reputation of one Sam Ogrih, by exposing him to hatred or ridicule, did publish on BIGPEN ONLINE that Ogrih has been a major financier of armed boys unleashing terror in Uzere community and thereby committed an offence publishable under Section 357 of the Criminal Code Law Cap. 21, of Delta State 2006.
After listening to the five counts charges, the journalist pleaded not guilty and their counsels, Chuks Ebu and Lawrence Obiorah respectively, applied for their bail.
The Presiding Magistrate, court 5, Asaba, B.N. Anumadu, (Mrs), granted the journalists bail and adjourned the case to November 12, 2019 for hearing.