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Court summons five individuals for “criminal defamation” as Mercy Chinwo, husband takes legal action over son’s paternity claims

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A Magistrate Court in Abuja has summoned five social media users for “criminal defamation” of gospel singer Mercy Chinwo and her husband Pastor Blessed Uzochikwa’s reputation.

  • Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna summoned five defendants to appear in court on April 23, 2023, to answer charges against them.
  • Mercy and Blessed are the complainants, while the five defendants are Okoronkwo Ejike, Kingsley Ibeh, DJ Spoiltkid, Terrence Ekot, and Samuel Agozie.

A Magistrate Court in Abuja has summoned five social media users on charges of “criminal defamation” against gospel singer Mercy Chinwo and her husband, Pastor Blessed Uzochikwa.

Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna issued the court summons on April 3, 2024, ordering the five defendants to appear in person before the court on April 23, 2023, to face the allegations against them.

The complainants in this case are Mercy and Blessed, and the five defendants are Okoronkwo Ejike, Kingsley Ibeh, DJ Spoiltkid, Terrence Ekot, and Samuel Agozie.

The litigation resulted from the defendants’ paternity claim, which they filed last week after the gospel singer and her husband shared a photo of their son on Instagram.

After pictures of the child, who was born in 2023, were posted on Instagram, the defendants claimed that the baby resembled another gospel singer, Nathaniel Bassey, and that he is the father, an allegation that quickly spread.

Mercy Chinwo and her husband filed a criminal complaint against the defendants, led by Pelumi Olajengbesi of Abuja-based media firm Law Corridor, alleging cyber intimidation, injurious lying, and cyberstalking directed at their persons.

The complainants claimed the defendants’ alleged conduct violated Sections 391 of the Penal Code and Section 24 (1)(B) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act 2015.

The “individuals criminally injured the reputation and image of the complainants across the globe resulting from their intentional defamatory posts and an act of cyberstalking,” the lawyers stated in a criminal complaint filed before the magistrate.

Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna then directed the five defendants to appear in court on April 23, 2024, to answer the allegations.

This comes after Nathaniel Bassey asked the police to investigate and prosecute those who claimed he fathered Mercy Chinwo’s son.

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