A man known as MC Sweet has been arraigned at a Magistrate Court in Aba, Abia State, for disseminating a fake online post that falsely claimed Aba Ngwa indigenes tried to obstruct Julius Berger from constructing the Port-Harcourt Road in Aba.
In the misleading post, the online skit maker, MC Sweet, alleged that Governor Alex Otti summoned elders and youths of Aba Ngwa to Umuahia for a peace meeting, during which he purportedly ordered their confinement. The controversial post, which created a stir across the state, was promptly refuted by the Abia State government through Mr. Dodoh Okafor, the Special Assistant on Special Communication to the Governor.
The Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum, headed by Chimezie Nwagba (President) and Chinedu Ahuruonye (Secretary), disowned the report in a communique and called for the identification of those responsible for the fake post. They asserted their commitment to supporting the Port Harcourt road contract and other projects in the state.
Subsequently, the individual behind the false post was apprehended by the police and presented before the Aba Magisterial District on charges of attempting to defame the characters of Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum members.
The charge sheet, read by Prosecutor Mary N. Udorji, accused MC Sweet of making the defamatory post within the Aba Magisterial District. The offense is said to be punishable under Section 375 of the Criminal Code, Cap 80, Vol. III of Laws of Abia State Nigeria, 2005. The charge specifically accuses MC Sweet of attempting to harm the reputation of Aba Ngwa people, subjecting them to ridicule and exposing them to hatred.
MC Sweet, who apologized to the Aba Ngwa Peoples Forum for the injurious social media post, pleaded for bail to rectify his mistake by making another post debunking the initial one. Chief Magistrate Erinma Enyeribe granted him bail, and the case was adjourned to February 29, 2024.
As of Friday, it remained unconfirmed whether MC Sweet had met his bail conditions.
Reacting to the incident, Azubuike Osondu Ochieze, an elder of Ngwa land, expressed his displeasure, stating that the false post attempted to tarnish the good name of Ngwa people. Meanwhile, Mike Evans, a Labour Party Chieftain, asserted that Governor Alex Otti had been further vindicated and advised youths against misusing the social media space.