Peter Ekemezie, a former lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Awka, (UNIZIK), has been sentenced to six months imprisonment for disseminating defamatory remarks about Prof. Alex Asigbo. The court trial revolved around three charges involving forgery and defamation. However, the court granted Ekemezie the option of paying a fine of N300,000 instead.
In a verdict pronounced by His Worship E.C. Chukwu at the Awka Magistrates’ court on Tuesday, the judge took into account the fact that Ekemezie had already spent one month in a psychiatric facility and four months in a Correctional Centre.
During the course of the trial, Prof. Alex Asigbo testified that Ekemezie had forged his signature after Asigbo declined to provide Ekemezie with a witness statement, suggesting instead that Ekemezie obtain a subpoena. Subsequently, Ekemezie allegedly authored and shared a series of defamatory statements about Asigbo on various social media platforms, including Facebook.
There had been conflicting reports regarding Ekemezie’s true identity, as well as his current status as a lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University. However, when contacted, Emmanuel Ojukwu, the Media Adviser to the vice chancellor of the university, confirmed that Ekemezie had departed from the university’s employment several years ago.
Ojukwu further clarified that Ekemezie’s departure was attributed to issues with his academic credentials, leading to his dismissal after scrutiny by the university’s Council. Prior to his departure, Ekemezie was associated with the Department of Chemistry at the university.
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