Welcome to Nigeria. Here, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

In a recent social media banter, a tweep has landed himself in serious trouble with the police.

In a very heated argument, a social media commentator, identified as Big Ayo, went head to head with popular Nollywood actress, Toyin Abraham.

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Defamation: What Every Nigerian Must Know
Toyin Abraham

Basically, Ayo had dragged Toyin Abraham for supporting President Bola Tinubu during the 2023 presidential election.

Indeed, he blames Toyin for the hardship and suffering Nigerians are experiencing.

That was how the argument started, and before we knew what was happening, reports revealing that Ayo had been arrested emerged.

Nigerians were left in shock.

“How small matter like this take reach olokpa?”, they asked.

The Oppressors

This single move did not just ink Toyin Abraham’s name in the bad book of Nigerians but also the Nigeria Police Force.

Meanwhile, to many, the force has allowed themselves to be used by oppressors.

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To some, what transpired was just an exchange of words between two individuals, hence, the police should not have gotten involved.

To others, it was defamation.

According to them, Ayo had made some defamatory remarks to Toyin Abraham during their clash.

What Is Defamation 

From the numerous comments on social media, it is obvious that many people are not aware of cybercrimes like defamation of character, cyberstalking, etc.

Now, let us see what defamation of character entails.

According to Cornell Law School, defamation is a statement that injures a third party’s reputation. The tort of defamation includes both libel (written statements) and slander (spoken statements).

However, while urging Toyin Abraham to immediately release Ayo, Inibehe Effiong, a lawyer, took to his handle to school Nigerians about the case.

What many people do not know is that, defamation of character is a criminal offence, and could land one is serious trouble.

A Message To Toyin Abraham

According to him, defamation of character is different from cyberstalking.

He wrote: “Good morning, @toyin_abraham1, I am urging you to immediately secure the release of Ayo.

“Defamation of character is different from cyberstalking.

”It seems many people do not know this. Don’t let the police deceive you.

”Most of these so-called cybercrime charges that are being filed because of insults on the internet will be thrown out in court.

“Just on Monday, the Federal High Court in Abuja discharged Agba Jalingo on charges of cyberstalking.
“Jalingo stood trial for two years because his organization, Cross River Watch, published an article.

Also Read: Cyberstalking: 5 Must-Know Laws For Every Nigerian

“They alleged that a relative of the immediate past governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, had hired an impersonator to write Law School examination for her.

“The police was very confident that they had a case.
But they lost like they mostly do in similar cases.
If you feel that you’ve been defamed, approach the civil court.”

The Voice Of Reason

“Whatever your grievances may be, you are a public figure and a celebrity.
Using the apparatus of a corrupt and oppressive State institution to witch-hunt a fellow Nigerian for insulting you is unacceptable.”

“I have seen that you also made unpleasant and derogatory comments towards Ayo.

How do you think that will play out in the court if the gentleman is arraigned?

Are you sure you’re ready to go though the rigors of the court system?”

“I hope you’ll listen to the voice of reason before this gets out of hands.
I read that the mother of Ayo was also targeted in the process of the police arresting him, if that is the case, you may have just bought yourself a serious lawsuit because arrest in lieu is illegal under the law.”

“Do not listen to those cheering you up, even Buhari’s cyberstalking charge against Sowore did not yield anything.

Do the right thing now.”

As we watch the events unfold, Nigerians are firing direct shots at the police.

And for Toyin Abraham, there is no insult she has not received.

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