An actress, Chioma Toplis, has been remanded in the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Afara, by a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, over alleged defamation.
The 48-year-old was accused of using her Facebook page to post “malicious publication” against the Chairman of the Abia State Traditional Prime Ministers Council, Uche Akwukwuegbu, aka Bawas.
She was said to have committed the offence between May 28 and 31, 2021.
According to the charge sheet, marked 124c/2022, the actress was accused of using her social media page to tag Akwukwuegbu as a rapist and ritualist.
The charge read, “That you, Chioma Toplis, between 28th and 31st of May, 2021, while residing in Nigeria and being a social media user, and being under the Umuahia North Magisterial District, did knowingly and maliciously publish on your Facebook page, Chioma Toplis, the following: ‘Ur rapist father invited his daughter-in-law (now ex) to Nigeria without his son’s consent and slept with her.’
“You equally called him a ritualist who used his last daughter as the sacrificial lamb of the family hence she is perpetually sick and hidden in the house, a publication which you knew to be false and intended to cause annoyance, inconveniences, danger, obstruction, enmity, hatred, ill-will or needless anxiety to the person of Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu, the Chairman of the Abia State Traditional Prime Ministers Council, a renowned community leader and business mogul, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 24(b)of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, as applicable in Abia State.”
After reading the counts, there was no plea for bail, as the Chief Magistrate, Idika Kalu, ordered that the accused be remanded.
The matter was adjourned till April 14, 2022.
Speaking to journalists later, the complainant, Akwukwuegbu, who identified the accused as his sister-in-law, insisted that she must substantiate her claims against him.