Tag Archives: Chamberlain Usoh

TV presenters escape prosecution

The court order imposed on three Channels TV presenters by Justice Okon Abang of the Nigerian Federal High Court in Abuja in July has been suspended.

The trio involved are Chamberlain Usoh, Gimba Umar and Nneotaobase Egbe. Under the ruling, they were to be prosecuted over the broadcasting of allegedly prejudicial material in respect of the trial of Chief Olisa Metuh, the former publicity secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.

The three presenters of the Sunrise Daily show on Channels TV were set to be arraigned for allegedly making prejudicial statements concerning Metuh’s court case for alleged fraud.

Usoh, Egne and Umar anchored the programme, in which they interviewed the lawyers from both sides of the case. These included Johnson Ojogbane of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission, representing the prosecution, and Benchuks Nwosu, representing the defence.

During the trial, relating to allegations of money-laundering, the three presenters conducted themselves in a manner that Justice Okon Abang ruled was contemptuous and prejudicial to the court.

This led to an outburst by the judge, who said: “So Channels Television has become a court of law.”

As a result of this, they were to be arraigned before any court that had the same jurisdiction as the Federal High Court.

Justice Abang has now temporarily suspended the prosecution order while waiting for the outcome of an appeal that Channels TV has since filed against his July ruling.

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Court arraigns Channels TV presenters

A number of Nigerian TV presenters are to be indicted as part of the ongoing trial of Olisa Metuh, former national publicity secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Three presenters of the Sunrise Daily show on Channels TV are set to be arraigned for allegedly making prejudicial statements concerning Metuh’s court case for alleged fraud.

Chamberlain Usoh, Nnetaobase Egne and Gimba Umar anchored the programme, in which they interviewed the lawyers from both sides of the case. These included Johnson Ojogbane of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), representing the prosecution; and Benchuks Nwosu, representing the defence.

However, according to the judge of the trial, Justice Okon Abang, this was an offensive act, as the channel and TV show allegedly took it upon itself to act as a court of law.

Justice Abang ordered that the presenters and their guest on the programme, Nwosu, be docked. Meanwhile, the court will determine whether the conversation held on the programme that day was prejudicial or not, as well as to make the media outfit explain why it engaged in a matter pending before the court.

However, the court did not arraign Ojogbane, who featured on the show via telephone.

The ongoing trial involves the case of Metuh who was accused of N400m (US$1.1m) fraud by the EFFC. He is standing trial on seven counts of money-laundering alongside his company, Destra Investment Limited.

The charges relate to money from the office of the former National Security Adviser in 2014 to campaign for former President Goodluck Jonathan.

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