The Akwa Ibom state government has reportedly charged Moses Armstrong, the Nollywood actor, with the alleged rape, intimidation, conspiracy, and supplying of drugs or instruments to procure abortion.
According to Premium Times, Emmanuel Pantaleon, counsel to Armstrong, said the charges were filed when the actor was arraigned before a high court in Uyo, the state capital, on Wednesday.
The film star, who is an ex-aide to Udom Emmanuel, the state governor, was said to have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
This is the first time the actor would be officially charged in the case since he was arrested in June.
The police had arrested Armstrong for allegedly raping a minor. He was said to have committed the act with a 16-year-old girl about three years ago.
The alleged victim, who was said to have been schooling outside Nigeria, returned to the country recently and thereafter petitioned the wife of the state governor with respect to the rape allegation.
Last month, a magistrate court in the state had transferred the case to the high court and struck out a suit by the prosecution seeking to remand the actor.
During the court session on Wednesday, Pantaleon reminded the court of the actor’s bail application filed on July 25.
But I.U. Robert, the prosecution counsel, opposed the bail application. Robert asked the court to dismiss the application, describing it as an “abuse of court process.”
In his ruling, Ntong Ntong, the judge, upheld Armstrong’s application and granted him bail in the sum of N5 million.
When contacted Abubakar Yakubu, national secretary of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), said the body can’t comment on the matter since it is already in court.
“No update on the matter for now. The case is before the court so we can’t comment on it,” he said.
Odiko Macdon, the state police spokesperson, also declined to speak on the matter.
“That’s not a recent case,” he said before ending the call abruptly.
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