Lawyer Accuses Nigerian Police Spokesman Of Using Nonexistent Law To Threaten Citizen Over Social Media Post

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Inibehe described the comment of the police PRO as disgraceful and misleading.

Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong on Sunday morning accused the spokesman for the Nigeria Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi of using an amended section of the Cybercrimes Act to threaten a citizen over a social media post.

Effiong pointed out that the law mentioned by the police spokesman was no longer existent.

The issue started when Adejobi posted a framed photograph showing all the individuals who have held the position of Inspector General of Police (past and present) on his X page, saying: “Former and current indigenous IGPs in Nigeria. We celebrate you all (living and late). Ire oo.”

A user @hommiesdrey while reacting to the post described all the IGPs as corrupt, saying, “Living and late Criminals from the most corrupt civil organisation in the entire multiverse.”

The user’s remark on the post enraged Muyiwa Adejobi. Referring to the Cybercrime Prohibition Act (offences), the police spokesperson said the X user would soon need to prove the assertion, suggesting the person may be arrested for the comment.

He said, “You will repeat it with evidence soon. It’s a matter of time. He needs to prove that all the past IGPs are corrupt or criminals. It’s a simple thing. He should know that the only court that has jurisdiction over the Cybercrime Prohibition Act (offences) is the Federal High Court.”

Reacting to the issue, Mr Inibehe described the comment of the police PRO as disgraceful and misleading.

He said, “It is disgraceful that the Force PRO has been alluding to a law that no longer exist in Nigeria.

“The provisions of the infamous Section 24 of the Cybercrimes (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2015 that the police has been using to harass Nigerians has been repealed by the National Assembly and replaced with a radically different and new provision.

“The amended Act was assented to by President (Bola) Tinubu in February 2024. Under the new Act, posts which are injurious to a person’s reputation is no longer a crime. The new Act limits the offence of cyberstalking to messages sent by means of a computer which are: (a) pornographic; (b) a threat to the life of another; or (c) likely to lead to a breakdown of law and order.

“In this specific case, the post made by this individual is neither pornographic, life threatening nor capable of leading to a breakdown of law and order.

“By virtue of Section 36(12) of the 1999 Constitution, an act or omission is only an offence if it so defined expressly in a written law. Nigerians should ignore the Force PRO.”

“Calling someone a criminal is not a crime under the new Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act (as amended).

“Insult is not a crime under the Act.

“Rather than focus of ways of salvaging the bastardized image of the police, the Force PRO is constantly ruining the image of the police further with his lack of professionalism and disdain for the rights of citizens,” he added.

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