Nathaniel Bassey Petitions IGP Over Mercy Chinwo’s Son Paternity Allegations

Posted on April 4, 2024

Gospel singer Nathaniel Bassey has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Kayode Egbetokun, over allegations that he fathered his colleague Mercy Chinwo’s son.

The singer, in a petition filed by his lawyers, Peter Abraham, Uche Matthew, Gbenga Agunloye, and Anthony Abia, asked the IGP to investigate and prosecute four social media users—Okoronkwo Ejike, Kingsley Ibeh, Terrence Ekot, and DJ Spoiltkid who accused him of paternal fraud.

The four suspects alleged that Bassey was the biological father of Mercy’s six-month-old son.

They made the allegations on their social media accounts when Mercy and her husband, Blessed Uzochikwa, unveiled their son’s identity on social media on 29 March.

Ejike’s post read, “This Mercy Chinwo’s child she was hiding after giving birth, but the truth is that this baby looks exactly like singer Nathaniel Bassey. Nothing anybody wants to reason with me oh. This child is Nathaniel Bassey’s Baby. Maybe a secret away match occurred; otherwise, how can we make empirical sense of this.”

The petition submitted to the IGP on 1 April read in parts: “On Friday, the 29th day of March 2024, Mercy Chinwo Blessed another popular gospel music minister, and her husband posted pictures of their son and themselves on different social media platforms.

“However, our client was disheartened, saddened, and grossly disturbed to find that the suspects mentioned above, as mischief makers with a criminal intent to destroy the image and character of our client, had made different social media posts of defamatory matter, calling our client ‘the father of minister Mercy Chinwo Blessed’s son,’ a woman who is married to another man.”

The lawyers stated that the social media posts by the four individuals constituted a thorough character assassination of Bassey.

They noted that these actions violated Sections 373 and 375 of the Criminal Code Act, as well as Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.).

“The post by Mr Okoronkwo Ejike has since gone viral on the platform. In reaction to the post, Mr Kingsley Ibeh commented on Mr Okoronkwo’s post with a picture of our client with the caption “The real father of the baby.”

“In a post on the platform “X” formerly known as Twitter, ‘Dj SpoiltKid’ a verified X user, quoted the statement by Okoronkwo Ejike along with a screenshot of the post and added, “When are we doing DNA test?”

“In another post, Mr Terrence Ekot, on the platform “X”, made a post thus: “Take a look at the stunning resemblance of Mercy Chinwo’s son and Nathaniel Bassey. Though the duo has been working together on several projects, what do you have to say?” (sic).

“These nefarious acts of these suspects, if not immediately dealt with, will continue to destroy our client’s image, injure his reputation, assassinate his character, and cast aspersion on the good name built by our client over the years.

“The consequences of making such statements on social media have been known to tarnish the reputations of individuals, render marriages unstable, and many never recover from them. International reputation is an asset—both for the individual and the nation—and takes time to acquire.

“Consequently, we urge you to use your good offices to, in the interest of justice, investigate this matter, arrest, and bring the suspect to justice, which will serve as a deterrent to others.”

In a separate statement signed by Peter Abraham, one of the lawyers, the social media post was labelled as an authoritative accusation against Bassey’s reputation.

The lawyer stated that the posts could tarnish the gospel musician’s hard-earned reputation and ministry.

“We believe that the post was released maliciously with the intent to criminally defame our client and cause injurious damage to his person,” the statement added.

Abraham also said the team had initiated legal action against the creators and disseminators of the posts, as well as individuals who have made other irresponsible statements and videos on the matter.

“Our laws in Nigeria have covered and provided sanctions in cases where criminally intended statements, made against individuals or property (tangible or intangible), are capable of causing irreparable damage and injury to the character and reputation of that individual or property to which this case falls.

“Our client will be exploring all the options and remedies available to him under the law against the persons to whom our legal actions are directed.”

Abraham emphasised that social media is not a lenient environment and cautioned that everyone bears responsibility for every statement or comment, whether expressed verbally or through videos.

He said: “The list of persons submitted to the authorities in our petition is not exhaustive, and our team is scanning through other posts to identify those that may be culpable to bring them to justice.”

In a swift reaction, Ejike, one of the accused persons who published the first allegation, apologised to the singer and Mercy on his social media handle.

Ejike also extended his apology to anyone his post hurt.

The post read: “I at this moment tender an unreserved apology to Mercy Chinwo, Nathaniel Bassey and Pastor Blessed for my take on the striking resemblance of Pastor Blessed’s baby and to everyone who got hurt over my post, I’m deeply very sorry. Love and light for Cosmic positive vibrations.. Shalom.”

The other three persons have yet to respond or react to the petition.

It is not the first time a Nigerian celebrity has threatened legal action over defamatory statements on social media. In January, a Nigerian-Sierra Leonean comedian, Agozi Samuel, apologised to AY comedian for making defamatory statements about him.

Agozi Samuel, on his Facebook page [Agozi Samuel Comedy], alleged that AY engaged in an extra-marital affair with May, the estranged wife of actor Yul Edochie.

He claimed the alleged affair contributed to the couple’s marital crisis. He further alleged AY was not the biological father of his second daughter.

In response, AY petitioned the Delta State Police Command to arrest and prosecute Agozi Samuel for criminal defamation and cyberstalking, as stated in a petition released by his lawyer, Osoala Iweze.

However, Samuel, in an apology video on Facebook, admitted that all the claims made in his video were false and apologised to AY.

He said he created the video for attention and deleted it because he realised it damaged AY’s reputation.

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