Court Acquits Man Accused Of Circulating Ex Girlfriend’s Sextape after 2 years in detention

The Federal High Court sitting in Calabar and presided over by Justice Rosemary Dugbo has discharged and acquitted Mr. Charles Oberu who was accused of circulating the recorded sextape between him and his former girlfriend, Ms. Paradise Gracious John.

Ms. John, a nurse in training at the time at the Cross River State School of Nursing, Itigidi had petitioned Mr. Oberu after her sextape was shared widely in April 2022.

Mr. Oberu was arrested in late April 2022 and arraigned in June 9th 2022 when a two-count charged bordering cyber stalking and blackmail were preferred against him in suit number FHC/CA/126C/2022. He pleaded not guilty and has remained remanded at the Medium Security Custodial Center, Afokang, Calabar since then.

On Thursday, Justice Dugbo while reading her judgment in the suit which suffered numerous adjournments, held that the prosecution failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt, and therefore, discharged and acquitted the defendant for lack of diligent prosecution.

“This Court has taken the pain to outline the above argument, from both learned counsel, it is worthy of note, that the address of counsel no matter how beautifully written cannot take the place of evidence; It is the finding of this court after placing evidence adduced in count one, charge by the persecution, side-by-side with the ingredients of the offense, this Court found that the prosection failed to link the iPhone in count one, to the defendant, being that the IPO said that he does not know the name of the phone or the model of exhibit B-8 tendered through him.

“This Court pauses here to ask, if the model of exhibit B-8 was not disclosed by the defendant, how do you come to the conclusion, in the prosecution count one to name the phone as an iphone?

“Prosecution has proved, that the defendant did not transmit, or cause transmission of his communication with CrossRiverWatch, an online Newspaper, and several chats with other people with the intention of bullying, threatening or harassing PW1.

“To this end, this court has perused the evidence induced by the prosecution, in count two as well, to prove that no real evidence was adduced by the persecution to prove same: In the instant case, this court has agreed with the submission of the learned defense counsel, that based on the evidence and counter evidence adduced in this charge, the prosecution has not discharged the burden of proof placed on him.

“There is no live case in this matter, there is no live evidence for the Court to reach a decision, to convict the defendant: based on the above, I hereby discharge and acquit the defendant of the two count charge filed against him, due to the negligence of the prosecution.”

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