Journalist Alleges Being Forced to Write Dictated Statement in Defamation Case

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Prince Amour Udemude, an editor with the privately owned news website, Big Pen Nigeria, on October 12, 2022 told a Magistrate Court sitting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, that he was coerced and threatened by a police prosecutor, Ms Theresa Okpor, to write a statement that she dictated.

Prince Amour and Joe Ogbodu were being tried at Magistrate Court following a complaint of alleged defamation by Mr. Sam Ogrih. The two journalists were initially arrested by the Delta State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in October 2019.

They were later arraigned on four counts of criminal defamation and one count of disturbing the peace.

The journalists had in October 2019 reported a bloody crisis by some youths who go by the codename “freedom fighters” at Uzere community, Isoko South Local Government Area of the state, over a N20 million in largesse from the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

The report alleged that the youths were sponsored by a one-time Chief of Defence Staff, General Alexander Ogomudia, and Sam Ogrih but which they refuted.

Prince Amour Udemude testified in court during the continuation of the case marked No. CMA/425c/2019 between the police commissioner versus Joe Ogbodu and Prince Amour Udemude that the prosecutor and team leader, Theresa Okpor, forced him to write a statement she was dictating on the fateful day of his arrest at the police headquarters.

Prince Amour said Theresa Okpor who took his statement, bullied, threatened, and intimidated him and forced him to what she was dictating to him, in spite of his refusal. He added that she threatened to lock him in a cell where he would suffer if he didn’t do as he was commanded.

He added that at one point, she was forced him to say the story was false and that he was being paid to tarnish the images of Ogomudia and Ogrih. Prince Amour said because of her resistance, he spent several hours writing his statement.

He said: “At a time when I said I was done, she took a look at the statement and insisted that I was not done, that I must continue and write all that she was telling me to write. She continued to bully, threaten, and intimidate me all through my statement.”