The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has confirmed the arrest of one Chike Ibezim, an entrepreneur, following a petition by Babatunde Fashola, former minister of works.
On August 10, Chike was reportedly arrested by some police officers in Abuja, the country’s capital.
Fashola was said to have written a petition against the entrepreneur about a report published by Reportera, a news established by Nnamdi Ibezim, the older brother of Chike.
In August, the platform published a report claiming that Fashola was drafting the presidential election tribunal verdict that would be handed to judges.
The former minister denied the claim and petitioned the inspector-general of police (IGP) over the “defamatory” report.
After Chike was picked up and detained, his brother accused the police of arrest by proxy.
‘CHIKE IS IN LAWFUL CUSTODY’
But in a statement on Sunday, Muyiwa Adejobi, force spokesperson, said Chike has a case to answer over alleged “malicious publication, cyberbullying, and other related offences”.
Adejobi said the detention of the entrepreneur is “based on a court order”.
“Contrary to speculations, we affirm that Mr. Chike is in lawful custody based on a court order, and his detention is in connection with a prima facie case of malicious publication, cyberbullying, and other related offences that are still under investigation by the police,” the statement reads.
“The arrest and detention of individuals are carried out in strict adherence to legal procedures and respect for individual rights.
“In this case, a court order was obtained following a thorough investigation, which established an indictment on Mr Chike, who has given useful information and is assisting the police in the course of their investigation.”