The Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced Okoye Blessing Nwakaego to three years in prison for engaging in social media bullying against popular Nollywood actress, Eniola Badmus.
Justice Nicholas Oweibo delivered the sentence after Nwakaego pleaded guilty to the two-count charge brought against her by the Police.
The charges stated that Nwakaego, along with her accomplice Chimabia (who is currently at large), conspired to commit the felony of cyberstalking between December 2022 and July 2023. They intentionally transmitted offensive and false communications via various social media platforms, including Tiktok, gossipmill tv, and remedyblog, using Nwakaego’s mobile phone number. These communications were aimed at causing harm, intimidation, enmity, hatred, and unnecessary anxiety to Eniola Badmus.
The prosecutor, Mr. Nosa Watson Uhumwangho, presented the case, citing violations of sections 27 and 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(c) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, etc.) Act 2015.
Upon hearing the charges, Nwakaego admitted her guilt, leading the prosecutor to request the court’s permission to review the facts of the case.
In his review, Uhumwangho, told the court that Nwakaego in her confessional statement to the police said she made the video following the prompt of a male friend.
He said, “Blessing said a friend who claimed to know Eniola Badmus narrated the false story to her and that she in turn, narrated the story to a male friend Chimabia (now at large), who asked her to do a video of the false story, that Eniola Badmus specializes in introducing young Nigerian girls to men.”
“She said after making the video, Chimabia gave her N200,000 and asked her to post it on her Tiktok from where other platforms picked it”.
The prosecutor also told the court that over three million persons viewed the maligning video online.
He tendered the petition written by Eniola Badmus asking the police to investigate the matter and bring those behind the falsehood to book.
He also tendered the statement made by Nwakaego, all of which the court admitted in evidence.
The prosecutor then urged the court to convict the defendant as charged and pass the appropriate sentence.
However, counsel to the Nwakaego, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy. He added that his client is a first time offender, who did not waste the time of the court.
He also told the court that she was remorseful and had already pulled down the offensive video from her social media pages with a promise never to get involved in such acts again.
After listening to the submissions of the lawyers, Justice Oweibo sentenced Nwakaego to 3 years imprisonment on the two count charge or in the alternative, a fine of N150,000.
The complainant, Eniola Badmus who was also present in court was happy with the development.
The two count charge against the convict reads: “That you, Okoye Blessing Nwakaego ‘f’ and, one Chimabia now at large, between the month of December 2022 to the month of July, 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did conspire with one Chimabia (surname unknown) to commit felony to wit: cyberstalking and thereby committed an offence punishable under Sectic 27 of the Cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention, ETC) Act, 2015.
“That you, Okoye Blessing Nwakaego ‘f and one Chimabia now at large, between the month of December 2022 to the month of July, 2023, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of the Honourable Court, did knowingly cause the transmission of a communication via Tiktok, gossipmill TV, remedy blog and other social media network, with your mobile line no. 09125225742 which is grossly offensive, false and for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred and needless anxiety to the prejudice of one Eniola Badmus and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(c) of the Cybercrimes (prohibition prevention, etc) Act, 2015.”