Ego Okoye, the TikTok user responsible for defaming Eniola Badmus, a Nollywood actress, has been handed a three-year prison sentence in a groundbreaking case.
Last month, Okoye accused Badmus of running a prostitution syndicate that specifically targeted women who had undergone cosmetic surgery.
During her interrogation by the police, Okoye admitted to defaming the actress, stating that she was offered N200,000 by a friend to do so. Despite Okoye’s apology, Badmus refused to accept it, and both parties decided to pursue the matter in court.
On Wednesday, a federal high court in Lagos found Okoye guilty on two counts of cyberstalking and sentenced her to three years in prison. However, the judge, Nicholas Oweibo, granted her the option of paying a fine of N150,000 in lieu of serving the jail time due to her remorse and plea for mercy.
The charges against Okoye and another person who is still at large pertained to their conspiracy to commit the offense between December 2022 and July 2023 in Lagos. This action was in violation of Sections 24(1)(b)(2)(a)(c) and 27 of the Cybercrimes Act, 2015.
Eniola Badmus also addressed the negative comments she has faced in a video shared on her YouTube page, reflecting on the impact of the case and its aftermath.
“I will like to address an issue that was been plaguing social media platforms and online communities: defamatory comments about me,” she wrote on Instagram.
“When I was a plus size, it was the height of body shaming. Now on my fitness journey, same negative comments. When I made my political choice, same negatives.
“Guys, let people live their lives and respect them for it. Some of us have muscle to keep it going, how about those that can not and silently struggle with depression and low self-esteem?
“We celebrities are human, we have blood running through our veins like you. No one judges your choice or approach to life in your corner, so why judge me on personal and human actions?
“More often than not, I ignore these comments or don’t even bother reading them but sometimes, it hits badly and you truly and really want to set an example.
“I am aware that defamation is a serious matter and can have severe consequences, both legally and socially.
“While freedom of speech is a fundamental right, I think it should be exercised responsibly and with consideration for the potential harm it may cause.”