Ideas Ahmed, Lokoja.
A Magistrate Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi state capital has sentenced a middle-aged man, Habibu Achile Rabiu to two months imprisonment in addition to a fine of N5,000 over posting fake information on Facebook.
Trial Magistrate, A.Agatha who presided over the trial said while delivering r judgment, that the offense contravenes section 393 of the Kogi state Penal code prohibiting the spreading of false or fake information to the public or individuals.
She, therefore, sentenced the defendant to two months imprisonment without the option of a fine in addition to payment of N5,000.
The Chief Magistrate explained that Rabiu’s action by posting on his Facebook timeline has contravened section 393 of the Kogi State Penal code by raising false alarms punishable under the law.
Rabiu who was standing trial at the Magistrate Court 3 over the comments on his Facebook timeline that the rate at which fever was killing people in the state, particularly during the heat of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The Department of State Security, DSS, subsequently arrested Rabiu at Anyingba in the Dekina Local government area of the State and was subsequently arraigned before a Chief Magistrate court 3 in Lokoja.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. M. A Abaji argued that the defendant acted contrary to section 393 of the Kogi State penal code by intimidating people, creating fear, and inciting people against the state government.
Abaji stated that the defendant has also raised false alarms in the state against the backdrop of the normal rate of death amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
He pointed out that the state Epidemiologist was invited to testify to ascertain Rabiu’s claims, noting that the State Epidemiologist, said that at the time of the post on the Facebook timeline, the death rate was normal contrary to Rabiu’s belief.
The defense Counsel, E. An Iwu argued that the defendant acted based on emotion after the death of his sister as a result of malaria fever at that moment.
He stated that his client was pained and in a sad mood when he posted that the rate at which fever is killing people was alarming.
The defendant was said to have paid the N5,000 before he was moved to the Correctional custody.