Authorities of the Bayelsa State Police Command on Thursday confirmed the arrest of Barrister Jonah Okah, the former Speech Writer to the former governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva over alleged fictitious posting on Facebook.
Barr. Okah, who was arrested on wednesday, was accused of posting alleged fictitious comments on Facebook claiming to have had a conversation with the Government House accountant, Richard Etonye confirming the loss of $4.6million purportedly belonging to the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson at the State Government House.
Confirming the arrest of Barr. Jonah Okah, the spokesman of the State Police Command, Asimin Butswat,said the arrest was based on the petition filed by the Government House account,Richard Etonye accusing him of criminal defamation.
In the petition dated 30th of August,2016 and filed by Richard Etonye, Barr. Okah was accused of making a false allegation against him which he also publicised on his facebook account,”Okah claimed that he had discussed with Ritche on phone and that he confessed to have absconded with the sum of $4.6 million belonging to the state government.”
“He neither discussed with Okah as claimed nor absconded with any money belonging to Bayelsa State Government. I was with the state governor, Seriake Dickson, at the time of Okah’s false allegation and i had travelled with my boss to Akure in Ondo State where the governor was the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary election.”
“No conversation took place between Mr.Jonah and myself. The whole story (allegation) is a figment of the author’s imagination, deliberately crafted to maliciously defame my person, character and ridicule my office”, he stated.
Etonye, who expressed dismay over Okah’s conduct, had therefore petitioned the police to invite and interrogate Okah to prove his allegations as he also threatened litigation to defend his hard earned reputation.
He stated that Okah’s action constituted an offence under section 302 of the criminal code law of Bayelsa State. He, however, requested Okah’s unreserved apology which should also be disseminated via same media he used for the false allegation against him as condition to halt litigation against Okah.
Etonye further requested Okah to publish the apology letter in two national newspapers and two local papers with a copy addressed to his professional body, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) to clear his name of any misconduct.
“The allegation of stealing and absconding made against me by Mr. Jonah Okah has subjected me to terrible shock, psychological trauma, low professional self-esteem and robbed me of the goodwill I have laboured hard to earn over the years. It was a maliciously crafted propaganda designed to impugn my person, reputation and profession as a chartered accountant”, he stated.