Two women, Martha Tina and Victoria Agber, have been arraigned in a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court, Benue State for allegedly publishing a false obituary of one Patricia Paul.
The women are charged with criminal conspiracy, intimidation, defamation of character and causing public disturbance.
The prosecutor, Inspector Gabriel Ebonyi, told the court that the victim reported the matter to the Commissioner of Police, in July when she noticed that her passport photographs were missing in her house.
She told the police boss that she had searched her photographs without success.
According to her, some weeks after the photographs were stolen, she started seeing her own obituary posters on walls and trees all over Makurdi and in her school at Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo.
She said she suspected the accused persons since they had been sending her text messages on mobile phone numbers 08036484335, 09023754836 and 08067876508 threatening to destroy her reputation.
The prosecutor said the accused were arrested during police investigation, adding that the mobile phones with the above numbers were recovered with the threat messages from the suspects.
He said offences committed by the accused were punishable under sections 97, 398 (b) and 116 of the Penal Code of Benue, Cap. 2004.
When the prosecutor read out the First Information Report (FIR), however, both accused persons pleaded not guilty.
The prosecutor said investigation into the matter was still in progress and urged the court for an adjournment.
The Magistrate, Mr Cyril Enyi, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50, 000 each and a reasonable surety each in like sum.
Enyi adjourned the case till September 9 for hearing.