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VeryDarkMan regains freedom after weeks in detention

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Controversial social media critic, Martin Otse, popularly known as VeryDarkMan, has been released from police custody after spending over two weeks in detention.

A Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to the blogger, who faced charges of cybercrime.

A viral video on X shows VeryDarkMan walking into a crowd of his fans after his release. Popular Nigerian blogger Tunde Ednut also confirmed his release in an Instagram post, stating,
“THIS MORNING: VeryDarkMan seen in court this morning. Bail has been granted to him, and arrangements are currently being made. He will be home once he finishes that.”

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Otse was initially arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on May 22, 2024, facing five counts of cyberstalking involving the Nigeria police and Nollywood actresses Iyabo Ojo and Tonto Dike. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the charges alleged that he posted videos on his Instagram account, ‘VeryDarkBlackman,’ containing information that was “grossly offensive, pornographic, or of an indecent, obscene, or menacing nature.”

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During his arraignment, Otse’s lawyer, Deji Adeyanju, applied for bail. However, the police prosecuting team informed Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon that they needed more time to respond to the application, leading the court to adjourn the bail hearing to May 29.

While the prosecution sought to have the blogger remanded in prison custody, his lawyers successfully argued for his remand in police custody instead. The court granted this request, and Verydarkman was subsequently taken to the National Cybercrime Centre.

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Otse was billed to be released one week after his arraignment, but his detention extended for over two weeks.

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