Verydarkman remanded in police custody for cyberbullying

Verydarkman remanded in police custody for cyberbullying

by Sopuru Sopuru

Controversial social media critic Martin Otse, known online as VeryDarkMan, has been remanded in police custody until his next court hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday. Otse was arraigned at the Federal High Court in Abuja, facing five counts of cyberstalking involving the Nigeria Police and Nollywood actresses Iyabo Ojo and Tonto Dikeh. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Otse’s lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, applied for bail, but the police prosecuting team requested more time to respond. As a result, Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon adjourned the bail hearing to May 29. While the prosecution initially sought to have Otse remanded in prison custody, his lawyers successfully argued for his remand in police custody instead. Consequently, he was taken to the National Cybercrime Centre.

The charges against Otse include:

1. **Cyberstalking Iyabo Ojo**: On October 29, 2023, Otse allegedly posted a video on his Instagram handle “verydarkblackman,” falsely accusing Iyabo Ojo of having an indecent sexual relationship with her daughter. This charge violates Section 24 (1)(a) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015.

2. **Cyberstalking Tonto Dikeh**: On January 19, 2024, Otse allegedly posted another video on Instagram accusing Tonto Dikeh of criminal conversion of crowdfunding proceeds and being behind the Gistlover blog, intending to cause annoyance and harm. This violates Section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime Act.


3. **Defaming Senior Police Officers and Lawmakers**: On March 19, 2024, Otse allegedly posted a video claiming that senior police officers and lawmakers were involved in sexual activities with Bobrisky, aiming to cause annoyance and other harm. This also violates Section 24 (1)(b) of the Cybercrime Act.

4. **Further Defamation**: On the same day, Otse allegedly posted another video claiming Bobrisky was pimping young boys to senators and senior police officers, again intending to cause harm and inconvenience.

Last week, Peter Obi held a closed-door meeting with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and other PDP stalwarts in Abuja. Obi also met separately with former Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido and former Senate President Bukola Saraki, sparking speculation about a potential coalition ahead of the 2027 general elections. Obi had defected from the PDP to the Labour Party in 2022 to pursue his presidential ambitions.

Otse’s next hearing is awaited with much anticipation, as his case continues to stir debate and draw attention to the issues of cybercrime and social media conduct in Nigeria.


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