By Okafor Ofiebor
It was a big drama on Wednesday when the blogger who published fake pictures alleging “EFCC Torture Cell” ,Chukwuebuka Washington Dikeocha, at the hearing of the suit against him pleaded with the court to remand him in custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) instead of the Port Harcourt Prison.
Following his arraignment by the EFCC Port Harcourt zonal office before Justice M. L. Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Rivers State on a two-count charge bordering on causing annoyance, hatred or ill will contrary to Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc ) Act, 2015, the defendant pleaded “not guilty”, to the charges.
In view of his plea, Prosecution Counsel, N.C. Ferdinand, urged the court to fix a date for the commencement of trial.
At this stage, the defence counsel, C.C. Achunelo informed the court of the defendant’s pending bail application, while counsel to the EFCC requested for a short adjournment to enable her respond to the application.
She said “I was served yesterday, my Lord, I need time to respond”.
However, Achunelo’s surprising prayer that the court remanded the defendant in EFCC custody pending consideration of his bail application was opposed by the prosecuting counsel.
Justice Abubakar adjourned the matter till March 12, 2020, for hearing and ordered that the defendant be remanded in Port Harcourt Correctional Centre.
Dikeocha was arrested on February 26, weeks after he published the alleged fake report through his Twitter handle, @TheRealDayne, which attracted unwarranted attacks on the EFCC by angry citizens.
The tweet misled the public to believe that an open cell existed in EFCC Port Harcourt, branch.