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Paternity Saga: Court summons five as Mercy Chinwo, husband take legal action

Like Nathaniel Bassey, gospel singer Mercy Chinwo and her husband, Blessed Uzochikwa, have taken legal action against five social media users for criminal defamation.

The couple filed a lawsuit after Mr Bassey petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, over claims that he fathered Mercy’s six-month-old son.

The defendants – Okoronkwo Ejike, Kingsley Ibeh, DJ Spoiltkid, Terrence Ekot, and Samuel Agozie – alleged that the gospel singer was the biological father of Mercy’s son.

They made the allegations on their social media accounts when Mercy and her husband, Mr Uzochikwa, unveiled their son’s identity on social media on 29 March.

Channels TV, on Thursday, said the lawsuit was filed by the complainants’ lawyers, led by Pelumi Olajengbesi of Abuja-based law firm Law Corridor.

Cyber intimidation
Subsequently, the Chief Magistrate Court, Wuse Zone 2, has summoned the five defendants for defamation based on the complaints.

The court summons was dated 3 April.

Chief Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna directed the defendants to appear in person before the court on 23 April to address the charges brought against them by Mercy and her husband.

The complaints said the defendants’ alleged actions constituted cyber intimidation, injurious falsehood, and cyberstalking targeted at them.

They also stated that the complainants argued that the defendant’s alleged actions contravene Sections 391 of the Penal Code and Section 24 (1)(B) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015.

“The individuals criminally injured the reputation and image of the complainants across the globe resulting from their intentional defamatory posts and an act of cyberstalking.”

Apologies
In a swift reaction, two of the defendants, the post originator, Mr Ejike and DJ SpoiltKid, who retweeted, have apologised to Mr Bassey and Mercy on their social media handles.

Mr Ejike extended an apology to anyone hurt by his post.

His apology read: “I at this moment tender an unreserved apology to mercy Chinwo, Nathaniel Bassey and Pastor Blessed for my take on the striking resemblance of Pastor Blessed’s baby and to everyone who got hurt over my post, I’m deeply very sorry. Love and light for Cosmic positive vibrations. Shalom.”

Even this apology has since been criticised by some social media users.

Meanwhile, DJ SpoiltKid apologised for any distress or confusion his post may have caused, noting that it does not reflect his true character.

He explained that the retweet he made was similar to every other news item he sources and shares on his page.

“I want to take a moment to address the recent discussions surrounding a retweet I made regarding Nathaniel Bassey and Minister Mercy Chinwo’s son, Blessed.

“I want to clarify that my intention in sharing the post was solely to disseminate information, not to endorse or validate the allegations,” he said.

DJ SpoiltKid said he’s dedicated to sharing news from various sources.

He expressed his aim to inform the audience about how he receives information as well as clarified that he does not endorse the views of the post-originator.

He said: “However, I now understand that the retweet was misunderstood, even though I included the original post in quotes and provided a screenshot reference. I did not intend to support the post in any way that could cause harm.

“I am deeply concerned about it, and as a human, I sincerely apologise for making such a mistake. I assure you that I will never repeat it. I urge you to join me in pleading with Nathaniel Bassey to find it in his heart to forgive my actions. I take full responsibility for sharing the post on my platform.”

As of press time, the other three defendants have yet to respond or react to the petitions.

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