By Romanus Okoye
Four lecturers at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK), Managing Director of a national newspaper and one of its reporters will be arraigned before Anambra State High Court, Awka on March 10 over alleged criminal defamation of character.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy, defamation, perjury and false information against Dr. Peter Ekemezie of the same University, contrary to and punishable under sections 496(a), 325, 146 and 154 (b), Criminal Code cap36 Vol. 2, Revised Laws of Anambra State.
The defendants in the charge no:A/IC/2021 are: Prof. John Nduka (Dept. of Pure and Industrial Chemistry), Dr. Chigozie Anarado (Dept. of Pure and Industrial Chemistry), Prof. Dennis Aribodor (Dept. of Parasitology and Entomology), Dr. Stephen Ufoaroh (Dept. of Electronic and Computer Engineering) all of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka and a national newspaper.
It was gathered that Prof. John Nduka and Dr. Chigozie Anarado jointly wrote a petition against Dr. Peter Ekemezie on March 20, 2019 titled: “Fraudulent claim of patent by Dr. Peter Ekemezie and other irregularities in his current appraisal.” The petition was addressed to the chairman, Appointment and Promotions Committee of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Governing Council during the 2017/2018 appraisal of Dr. Peter Ekemezie for promotion to professorial cadre.
The publication alleged that Dr. Peter Ekemezie did not hold any patent. As a result, Dr. Ekemezie reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police and the police investigated and confirmed that the patent certificate number NG/P/2016/415 submitted by Dr. Ekemezie was genuine.
The case was transferred to the Attorney General of the state who used the powers conferred by section 211 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) to charge the suspects for conspiracy, false information, perjury and defamation on Wednesday, January 20, 2021.