A Federal High Court sitting in Warri, Delta State, on Tuesday remanded five persons involved in an alleged attempt to extort and defame Prof. Maureen Etebu, a former Vice Chancellor of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in the Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.
The defendants are Vincent Akpoveta (38), Stanley Erobosa (40), Doboikiabo Warmate (47), Edgar Biu (47) and Ibrahim Abubakar (34).
The accused persons, who were arrested by men of the Zone 5 Police Command, were arraigned on eight counts of criminal conspiracy, extortion and defamation.
According to the police, the defendants in June 2020 sent offensive and obscene e-mails to the former vice chancellor, thereby committing an offense punishable under Section 24(a)(b) of the Cyber Crime Prohibition and Revocation Act.
They pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defense counsels, N. Trofaniowei, Ray Enogeh, N. Ohre, H.O. Omyebuolose and P. O. Itsyeli, applied for bail in liberal terms.
However, the police prosecutor, N. A. Ukpebor, while opposing the bail applications, said the accused persons might tamper with the prosecution witnesses, noting that the purported medical reports tendered by the 3rd and 4th defendants were fake.
The presiding judge, Justice Emeka Nwete, adjourned hearing on bail till Friday.