A Magistrate Court in Umuahia, Abia state has ordered that Nollywood actress, Chioma Toplis, be remanded at the Nigeria Correctional Centre, Afara over defamation.
Punch reports that Toplis was dragged before the court for allegedly using her Facebook page to post “a malicious publication” against the Chairman of Abia State Traditional Prime Ministers Council, High Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu, popularly known as BAWAS in which she described him as “a rapist and a ritualist”.
In the court document titled “Inspector General of Police vs Chioma Toplis ‘f’ aged 48”, the accused committed the alleged offence between May 28, 2021 and May 31, 2021.
The one-count read
“That you Chioma Toplis ‘f’ between the 28th and 31st of May, 2021, while residing in Nigeria, and being a social network user, and being under the Umuahia North Magisterial District and knowingly and maliciously published in your Facebook page “CHIOMA TOPLIS” the following: ‘Ur rapist father invited his daughter in-law (now Ex) to Nigeria without his son’s consent and slept with her’.
You equally called him a ritualist who used his last daughter as the sacrificial lamb of the family, hence she is perpetually sick and hidden in the house. A publication which you know to be false and intended to cause annoyance, inconveniences, danger, obstruction, enmity, hatred, ill-will or needless anxiety to the person of Chief Uche Akwukwuegbu, the Chairman of Abia State Traditional Prime Ministers Council, a renowned Community Leader and business mogul, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(b)of the Cyber Crime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act, 2015, as applicable in Abia State.”
During the hearing of the case today, there was no plea for bail after the charges was read and the trial Chief Magistrate, Idika Kalu, ordered that the accused be remanded at the Afara Correctional Centre, Umuahia.
The matter was adjourned till April 14, 2022.
Speaking with newsmen later, the plaintiff, Chief Akwukwuegbu, who identified the accused as his sister-in-law, expressed his worry on why she resorted to ”blackmailing” him.
He expressed no knowledge of all the allegations while insisting that she has to substantiate her claims.
Strike not ending soon – ASUU, others
Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Joint Action Committee of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational (NASU) and Associated Institutions and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have insisted that the strike will not be ending soon as no agreement has been reached with the Federal Government.
ASUU started its strike on February 14, 2022 and JAC commenced its own on April 14, 2022.
The unions embarked on industrial actions while demanding improved welfare packages, better working conditions and implementation of various labour agreements signed with the Federal Government between 2009 and 2020.
The national leaders of ASUU and JAC of SSANU and NASU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke and Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, respectively told newsmen that the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the education sector and religious leaders had a meeting with the four unions but no strong agreements were reached.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, at the weekend said, “We had a cordial and fruitful discussion; we looked at the issues dispassionately and reached some agreements, to the satisfaction of everybody in attendance.”
But Osodeke said Ngige’s claim after the meeting that the unions would call off the ongoing strike this week was a political statement.
In his words, “We are not aware that we are calling off the strike. We met but there was nothing concrete between us and the government. Like we said before, we do not want promises, we want actions, if they show action and implement all the issues, we will go to our members, but knowing their antecedents, we know they will not do anything.
“They promised us since December 2020 and it is going to a year and a half, they have not done anything. We are waiting for them.
“As far as we are concerned, only when they sign our agreements, accept UTAS, release EAA and revitalisation funds will we call the strikes off.”
Ibrahim added that the major progress he could point at during the meeting was the ordering of the National Information Technology Development Agency, by the presidency who was represented by the Chief of Staff to the President and Chairman of the meeting, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, to subject the three payment solutions; Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system , University Transparency and Accountability Solution and University Peculiar Payroll Payment System, to integrity test and submit in three weeks.
“We are not talking about calling off strike now,” he said.
2023 Presidency: Atiku lists five-point agenda
Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
Former Vice President and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, said listed his five-point development agenda for Nigeria if he becomes the next President come 2023.
Atiku made this known when he met with Abia State Special Delegates to the PDP National convention at the Government House Banquet Hall.
He highlighted his five-point development agenda to include; instituting symbols of unity, and dealing with insecurity, the economy, education, and restructure of the country.
He said that the South-East is his real point adding, “Therefore, nobody can label me anti-East or anti-race”.
According to him, by 2023, PDP would have been in opposition for 8 years, stating, “We must win the next election.Would we like to go back? Do we want to remain in opposition? These are the questions before us”
“Your aspiration as Igbo people will materialise and be realised. So, give me victory so that your aspiration will be realised.
“Together, we can achieve these goals if we unite as PDP and fight for power.”
He added, “I came with these objectives and if you should be able to give me this opportunity, I believe we will work together to achieve this”.
Earlier in a courtesy call on him, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu saluted Atiku for his doggedness in his quest to unify and recover Nigeria.
Nigeria, he said, “has drifted further down the valley from where we are. Nigerians are faced with serious challenges and are now begging for the opportunity to live.”
Speaking, the PDP state chairman, Asiforo Okere, expressed his excitement to receive Atiku, adding, “We are not unaware of your contributions to the nation”.
Atiku was led by his campaign director general, Raymond Dokpesi who described Atiku, as “a detribalised Nigerian, astute deliverer of democracy and a unifier”.
Acting Involves Brainwork, Not Only Looks
Nollywood actress, Kehinde Bankole, has advised those coming into Nollywood to be ready for the intellectual work that comes with the glamour of the industry.
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She said, “Don’t see acting as a career you can come into when all other careers are not working for you. (Perhaps), you have been told that doctors and lawyers are more professional than actors, so you decided to start acting because you couldn’t cope in other fields. Acting is not just about looking good; it involves a lot of intellectual work. You have to think on your toes, otherwise, you would become irrelevant.”
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Speaking further, the award-winning actress noted that being able to sustain relevance is where the real work lies. “Being able to sustain relevance is the real work, being able to make it pay your bills. Stumbling on fame doesn’t happen like that for people every time, like the case of Olajumoke the bread seller. There are people whose stories are like that but it’s usually one out of every five hundred.”
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