Jonah Okah, a Bayelsa state civil servant and loyalist of Timipre Sylva, former governor of the state, was on Thursday remanded in prison for allegedly defaming Ritchie Etonye, accountant of the government house, Bayelsa.
Okah had intimated Doifie Buokoribo, Sylva’s media aide, of his arrest on Wednesday, saying it could be as result of a critical comment on Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa, which he posted on Facebook recently.
He was arraigned before Pere Bossa, a magistrate, who ordered that he be remanded at Okaka Prison.
Bossa adjourned the matter to September 20.
Etonye had petitioned the police, saying Okah had claimed that he discussed with him on phone and that the accountant confessed to have absconded with $4.6 million, belonging to the state government.
The accountant said he was in Ondo state with Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa, at the time of Okah’s “false allegation”.
“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 wrote.
“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.”