Two journalists based in Delta State have been arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Asaba on charges of defamation.
The two journalists, Joe Ogbodu, editor of BIGPEN Online, and Prince Amour Udemude, an investigative journalist, took a new turn on Wednesday with Udemude telling the court how he was coerced by a police prosecutor, Theresa Okpor, to write a statement dictated by her.
The journalists were arrested in October 2019 by the police following a petition by a certain Sam Ogrih, alleging defamation and were arraigned for misdemeanor namely defamatory in Asaba Magistrates Court, the state capital.
Udemude and Ogbodu had reported in October 2019 a bloody crisis by some young people who are codenamed “freedom fighters” in the community of Uzere, Isoko South local government area of the state, more than 20 million nairas of largesse from the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.
For his defense on Wednesday, during the continuation of the hearing in case No CMA/425c/2019, between the commissioner of police against Prince Amour Udemude and Joe Ogbodu.
Defense attorney Mr Chuks Ebu said his client’s story was based on what he was told by the fleeing natives of Uzere community regarding the bloody crisis in the community.
After the defence, the Presiding Magistrate, Mrs. BN Anumadu, called the solicitor of the plaintiff (Ogrih), MA Omakor, for the cross-examination of the defendant. But the plaintiff’s lawyer said time may not allow it and the magistrate adjourned the case until November 23, 2022 for cross-examination.
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