Police on Monday arraigned a journalist, Nengi Owei-Ilagha, at the Federal High Court, Yenagoa, for alleged defamation of a member of the Police Community Relations Committee in Bayelsa State.
The police arraigned Owei-Ilagha on a three-count charge of defamation over a Facebook post on a member of the committee identified as Emmanuel Chiefson.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, Godfrey Otiotio, who filed an application for his client’s bail, said the defendant was earlier granted administrative bail by the police.
He added that Owei-Ilagha was ready to present himself for trial.
The prosecution counsel, M.Y. Benabo, did not oppose the bail application.
But he asked the court to warn the defendant not to make comments on social media as such could prejudice the outcome of the case.
The defence counsel assured that his client would not make any comment related to the case on social media.
The judge granted the journalist bail in the sum of N1 million and one surety in like sum.
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Kenya labor court rules that Facebook can be sued
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A judge in Kenya has ruled that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, can be sued in the East African country.
Meta tried to have the case dropped, arguing that Kenyan courts do not have jurisdiction over their operations, but the labor court judge dismissed that in a ruling on Monday.
A former Facebook moderator in Kenya, Daniel Motaung, is suing the company claiming poor working conditions.
Motaung said that while working as a moderator he was exposed to gruesome content such as rape, torture and beheadings that risked his and colleagues’ mental health.
He said Meta did not offer mental health support to employees, required unreasonably long working hours, and offered minimal pay. Motaung worked in Facebook’s African hub in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, which is operated by Samasource Ltd.
Following the judge’s decision that Meta can be sued in Kenya, the next step in case will be considered by the court on Mar. 8.
Meta is facing a separate court case in which two Ethiopians say hate speech was allowed and even promoted on Facebook amid heated rhetoric over their country’s deadly Tigray conflict.
That lawsuit alleges that Meta hasn’t hired enough content moderators to adequately monitor posts, that it uses an algorithm that prioritizes hateful content, and that it responds more slowly to crises in Africa than elsewhere in the world.
The Associated Press and more than a dozen other media outlets last year reported that Facebook had failed to quickly and effectively moderate hate speech in several places around the world, including in Ethiopia. The reports were based on internal Facebook documents leaked by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen.