Akwa Ibom State Magistrate court has extended the remand in custody of one Idongesit Idiok to 14 days pending when the Department of Public Prosecution in the state Ministry of Justice would file charges in the appropriate court against him.
The Magistrate, Ini-Ifiok Isong has directed that the accused, be remanded in the custody of the Ikot Ekpene Correctional Centre for a period not exceeding fourteen days, over the allegation of defamation on Facebook, when the matter first came up last month.
Idiok was said to have been remanded at the Correctional Centre after publishing a defamatory piece against the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel on his Facebook page “Soundcraft Owo OBA”
The failure of the DPP to file the case at the Federal High Court before now has been allegedly traced to the police.
John Okon who represented the state Commissioner of Police (prosecution), said the police complied with the order of the court to hand over files to the DPP but had difficulty including the report of investigations as a result of challenges with their computer system.
He, however, assured the court that the report will be sent within the week.
The accused, in his statement to the police, admitted to being the author of the write-up which alleged that the governor is a maniac.
He was, however, absent in court, so also was his counsel, Uwem Umoh, Barr Samuel Ikpo who watched the brief for the governor was in court.
Speaking while fielding questions from journalists after the court session, on whether the renewed incarceration of the accused does not amount to persecution rather than prosecution, Ikpo explained that what happened in court was in accordance with the law, emphasizing that the chief magistrate has the jurisdiction to further extend the remand order against the accused person.
“The law allows detention for the first fourteen days and further extension for another fourteen days particularly due to the excuse by the police that the full report did not accompany the case file to the DPP”, he stated.
The case was adjourned to April 19, 2022, for an update.