Sat. Jul 31st, 2021

3 Celestial Church Members Docked For Alleged Inciting Publication

3 Celestial Church Members Docked For Alleged Inciting Publication

Three members of celestial Church of Christ (CCC) were today, arraigned before a Federal High Court, Lagos, on 18 counts charge of cyber stalking and inciting publication against the Church’s treasurer, Pius Olanrewaju.

The three men arraigned before Justice Muhammad Liman led-court on the said charges are: Awonusi Oluwasegun; Emmanuel Soyemi and Michael Longe.

The three men according to the charges brought against them by the men of Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (ForceCIID) Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi, Lagos, committed the offences between 2016 and 2019.

The three defendants and others now at large, according to Mr. Morufu A. Animashaun, the ForceCIID’s Legal Officer, on September 21, 23, 25, 26; October 31; November 11, 20 and 28, 2019, allegedly used Celestial News online (CNO) and other social media to publish various false information against the Church’s Treasurer, Olanrewaju.

Some of the alleged false information published against the Church’s Treasurer, including; “shocking revelation on this Celestial University project by Pro. Soyemi”, “Is this way the Church fund is being used”, “Cabal allegedly set to frustrate ‘the general meeting”, ” we have slumbered for too long” and many others.
Police also alleged that the three defendants on November 11, 2019, wilfully and knowingly created a false video which went viral on an online television, AsabeAfrica TV and other social media, against Olanrewaju and Celestial Church of Christ.

The defendants were also alleged to have between September and November, 2019, conducted themselves in a manner that likely to cause breach of public peace, by inciting members of the Church against the Church’s Treasurer,  

The offences according to the prosecutor, Animashaun, are contrary to Sections 27(1)(b), 24(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition and Prevention etc)Act, 2015 and punishable under section 24 of the same Act.

The offences also contravened section 149(d) of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their not guilty pleas, the prosecutor, Animashaun, asked the court for a trial date, while also urged the court to remand them in the custody of Nigerian Correctional Services (NCS) till the determination of the charge against them.

However, their counsel, Folorunsho Ogunmekun, Chukwu O. and Kayode Ashade, informed the court that they are not opposing the trial date requested by the prosecutor.

But before the counsel, could mention to court of their clients’ various bail applications, the presiding Judge, Justice Liman, after observing that the defendants and the nominal complainant, Pius Olanrewaju and other litigants in the courtroom were members of the same Church, queried while the matter was not amicably settled before it became court case.

Upon the judge’s observation and counseling, he admitted the defendants to bail on self recognition.

Justice Liman, however warned the defendants and their supporters to be of good conduct, else, he promised to revoke the self recognition terms.

“No beating of chest, if there is any, either by themselves (defendants) or their supporters, the bail conditions will be revoked”, Justice Liman warned.

However, the matter has been adjourned till May 13, 2020, for commencement of defendants’ trial.

Count one of the charge reads: “that you, Awonusi Oluwasegun ‘M’, Emmanuel Shoyemi ‘M’, Michael Alonge ‘M’ and others now at large, sometime between 2016 2019, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court Lagos, did conspire among yourselves to commit felony to wit; cyberstalking and thereby committed an offence Contrary to Section 27 (1)(b\ of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 24 of the same Act. 

Count 2: ” that you, Awonusi Oluwasegun ‘M’, Emmanuel Shoyemi ‘M’ and others now at large, on or about 21S‘day of September 2019, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. Lagos, using the piatform of Celestial News Online (CNO). Facebook, Youtube Videos, AsabeAfrica TV.com, did knowingly publish false information against one Pius Olarewaju, thus: (Treasurer Celestial Church of Christ World Wide (W/W) thus: Fraud/Lack of Structure: Prophet Soyemi Calls For Stakeholders Meetings), which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult and hatred to him by such publication and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act. 

Count 17 reads: “that you, Emmanuel Shoyemi ‘M’, and others now at large, on or about November 11, 2019, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos, willfully and knowingly created a false video which went viral on AsabeAfrica TV online against Pius Olarewaju and the Celestial Church of Christ, for broadcast which was circulated and broadcast on Youtube videos, AsabeAfrica TV, Asabeafrica.com and other social media platforms, which you knew to be false, for the purpose of causing Insult and hatred to him by such circulation and thereby committed an offence Contrary To Section 24(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) ACT, 2015 and punishable under the same section of the Act. 

Count 18 reads: “that you Awonusi Oluwasegun ‘M’ Emmanuel Shoyemi ‘M’. Michael Alonge and others now at large, between September and November, 2019, within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court, Lagos, did conduct yourselves In a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by inciting members of Celestial church and the public against Plus Olanrewaju, (Treasurer, Celestial Church of Christ World Wide (W/W),-and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 249(d) of the Criminal Code Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”.