Popular blogger, Kemi Olonloyo, and Samuel Walson, publisher of a local tabloid in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were on Thursday brought to the Magistrate court in prison uniform.
Chief Magistrate, Alatuwo Elkanah Fubara, granted them bail in the sum of N200,000 with credible sureties who reside in Port Harcourt.
Olunloyo and Walson are facing four count charges of publishing defamatory and malicious story against the General Overseer of Salvation Ministries, Pastor David Ibiyeomie.
The court struck out one of the charges on cyber crime against Kemi Omolulu Olonloyo for lack of jurisdiction to try the matter.
The matter has been adjourned to May 4, 2017 for hearing.
Kemi is daughter of former governor of Oyo State in 1983, Dr. Victor Omololu-Olunloyo.
The controversial blogger and journalist was arrested three weeks ago in Ibadan and ferried to Port Harcourt. Walson was apprehended in Port Harcourt. They were both remanded in prison.
In a post immediately after her arrest, she said she doesn’t need her “powerful connections” as she wants the law to run its course.
She wrote: “Dear Media, friends, fans. I was driven by the NPF to Port Harcourt on orders of the IG. Pastor David Ibiyeomie says I criminally defamed him because I posted a letter his church member sent to me alleging corruption and adultery. Both newsmakers refused to answer the allegations but Ibiyeomie called me several times to threaten me with lawsuits, death from above and misfortune. Church spokesman did the same with Danielle Ogbeche of Daily Post too.
“I have been charged with a cybercrime along with a Rivers state journalist who simply syndicated my story. 500 blogs did. Cybercrime? in the Nigerian constitution and remanded in prison. Next week 23rd I appear in court again for a second bail attempt. I will be in this Port Harcourt prison till then.
“THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD. #Journalism is not a crime. I love you all. Pls trend #FreeKOO #FreeMadamHNN. @ludovicca_iacinno pls tell the world. Tweet it to the Toronto Sun’s @Joe_warmington. Pls every one let Joe know. I’m in high spirits. The NPF recommended NO bail. Police is never your friend in Nigeria. I will always be a proud international investigative journalist. I will not see my phone again for a week. Off to a Nigerian prison. Mass Comm students never give up.
“I don’t need my powerful connections. I want the law to run its course.
“GOD BLESS #FREETHESHEEPLE #KEMIOLUNLOYO”