A Federal High Court Abuja on Friday admitted the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), Olanrewaju Suraju, to N7 million bail for alleged cyberstalking.
The Judge, Justice Binta Nyako, in a ruling admitted the defendant to bail on the condition that his counsel had undertaken to deposit a check of N7 million.
The judge said she was minded to grant the bail in that condition following the passionate plea of Suraju’s counsel, Mr. Muiz Banire (SAN).
She adjourned the case until May 10 for trial.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that N7 million is the ultimate penalty stipulated for such crime under the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act 2015.
Suraju was arraigned by the Federal Government for allegedly cyberstalking former Attorney- General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Mohammed Adoke.
The defendant, who is facing a two-count amended charge, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In count one of the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CS/370/2021, the federal government accused Suraju of intentionally circulating an audio telephone interview between one Ms. Carlamaria Rumur, a reporter with RIAReporter in Italy and Adoke through his twitter handle @HEDAagenda.
This, the government alleged Suraju knew to be false, for the purpose of causing insult to Adoke and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention ETC) Act 2015 and punishable under the same Act.
The defendant was accused in the second count of committing the same offence through his Facebook handle @HEDAResourcecentre.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Bagudu Sani, earlier objected to an application for bail filed by Suraju’s counsel.
Banire had urged the court to grant his client bail based on self recognition, saying his client had no criminal record.
He also told the court that the offences his client were accused of were bailable, adding that his client had voluntarily submitted himself to the authorities for questioning.
The police had on April 15, 2021 interrogated Suraju over a forgery petition by Adoke.
Adoke had demanded a probe of an email evidence presented against him by prosecutors in the Malabu trial in Italy admitting that the Malabu OPL 245 transaction was a scam.