Mr Yisa Usman, a Deputy Director with Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) was, on Tuesday, arraigned on allegations bordering on threatening Mrs Raheemat Oloyede on the phone with the intent to blackmail her husband, Prof. Ishaq, the board’s registrar.
Usman was arraigned by the police on behalf of the Federal Government. on a five-count charge before Justice Nkeonye Maha of a Federal High Court, Abuja
He was alleged to have committed the offence with Abdulfatai Usman, now at large, between Feb. 14, 2022 and Feb. 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Usman is the sole defendant in the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/139/2023 dated March 29 but filed March 30.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to all the counts after the charge was read to him.
Police prosecutor, Eristo Asaph, made an application for a trial date after the defendant took the plea.
But Moses Balogun, who appeared for Usman, applied for bail.
“Having pleaded not guilty, we shall be applying for bail my lord,” he said.
The lawyer informed that a bail application dated and filed on June 7 had already been served on the prosecution on the same day.
He said the motion on notice was brought pursuant to Sections 35 and 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution and in compliance with the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
He told the court that during the investigation of the matter and while Usman was admitted to an administrative bail, he complied with 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 depose to 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.
But Balogun, who prayed the court to order a release of his client to him 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.