Cyber stalking: Court grants teenager bail, begins trial

They were arraigned before Justice Yetunde Adesanya of the Lagos State High Court sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square.

The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has admitted, Miss Charlotte Delhi, to bail over charges of cyberstalking and blackmail following her alleged involvement in the sharing of the nude video of a former Permanent Secretary of the State Ministry of Education, Dr Walton Liverpool on the social media.

The DSS, in suit number FHC/YNG/33C/2021, filed a one-count charge against the defendant alleging that she engage in cyberstalking with intention of blackmail which is contrary to section 24(2)c and punishable under subparagraph (b) of the cybercrime (prohibition, prevention etc) Act,2015.

At the resumed sitting on Thursday, counsel to the defendant, Andrew Arthur moved for the bail application which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel and Principal Legal Officer of the Department of State Security (DSS), Victor Uchedu.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Isa Hamma Adama Dashen, after hearing the positions of the two counsels on the bail, granted the defendant bail to the tune of 5million and a surety with landed property in the jurisdiction of the state.

Justice Dashen after the ruling on the bail immediately ordered for commencement of trial with Dr Liverpool mounting the witness box as the first witness.

Under cross-examination by Uchedu, Liverpool narrated how he was contacted by a strange number on the night of a get-together held in his honour by family and friends after his award of a doctorate degree by the Imo State University.

According to him, the blackmailers demanded the sum of N15 million be paid if he does not want them to upload the video on social media.

He told the court that he pleaded with them to take N1 million as he is a retired civil servant that does not have the kind of money they are demanding for.

Liverpool narrated that the blackmailers later dropped the amount to N5million and when they realised that he was not going to pay, they uploaded the video which according to him has caused him so much psychological and physical pain.

The prosecution thereby tendered a computer printout of the WhatsApp conversation between Liverpool and the alleged blackmailers requesting it to be admitted as an exhibit.

This was however opposed by counsel to the defendant who argued that the exhibit being tendered is in violation of Section 84 subsection 2and 3 of the Evidence Act.

Justice Dashen, however, adjourned till November 9th, 2021 to rule on the issue of whether the exhibit is to be admitted by the court or not.

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