A Deputy Director of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Mr Yisa Usman, was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly threatening Mrs Raheemat Oloyede over the phone in order to blackmail her husband, Prof. Ishaq, the board’s registrar.
Usman was before the court for a five-count charge by the police on behalf of the Nigerian Government before Justice Nkeonye Maha of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
He was accused of committing the crime with Abdulfatai Usman, who is still at large, between February 14 and February 15, 2022.
They were alleged to have intentionally communicated through a network computer system with phone number: +447529723948 with Mrs Oloyede, “a communication which is grossly offensive, indecent, criminal intimidation for the purpose of causing inconvenience or needless anxiety” to her.
They were alleged to have committed the offence contrary to Section 24(1)(a) & 1(b) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.
It was earlier reported that Usman is the sole defendant in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/139/2023 dated March 29 but filed March 30.
After the charge was read to him, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Following the defendant’s plea, police prosecutor Eristo Asaph requested a trial date.
However, Moses Balogun, who represented Usman, sought for bail.
“Having pleaded not guilty, we shall be applying for bail my lord,” he said.
A bail application dated and filed on June 7 had previously been served on the prosecution on the same day, according to the lawyer.
He added that he submitted the motion on notice in compliance with Sections 35 and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), and the court’s inherent jurisdiction.
He informed the court that while the case was being investigated and Usman was being held on administrative bail, he followed the terms of the bail.
Balogun, who said that Usman was a deputy director, prayed the court to grant him bail on liberal terms or self-recognition pending the hearing and determination of the case.
Asaph did not oppose the application.
Justice Maha, in a ruling, admitted Usman to bail in the sum of N2 million with a surety who must be a civil servant on level 14 and must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
She ruled that the defendant and the surety must submit their travel documents and a passport photograph each to the court registrar.
In the alternative, the judge held that the surety could also be a responsible citizen having paid his tax for a period of two years and must have a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court.
She said the surety, who must submit his or her international passport and a passport photograph to the court registrar, must submit an affidavit of means.
Justice Maha ordered that Usman should be remanded at a correctional centre pending the perfection of his bail and adjourned the matter until Oct. 26 for trial.
However Balogun, who prayed the court to order a release of his client pending the perfection of his bail within five days, pledged to write an undertaking to the effect.
The judge granted the plea and ordered that the undertaking must be completed before the close of work.
NAN reports that the police also accused Usman of intentionally publishing letters between Jan. 31, 2022 and Feb. 4, 2022, through a computer system network on WhatsApp social media platforms alleging that the JAMB registrar, Oloyede, and members of the management board of JAMB committed fraud and violated the Federal Government’s regulations.
The message or publication was said to be grossly offensive for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill-will or needless anxiety to them, even though, he knew such information to be false; and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24(1)(a) & (b) of the Cybercrime Act 2015.