Saturday, February 24, 2024

Police intensify crackdown on cyber-bullies, fake news purveyors

The force spokesperson urged Nigerians to stand united against the spread of misinformation and cyberbullying.

• February 13, 2024
Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun (Credit: @policeng)
Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Adeolu Egbetokun (Credit: @policeng)

The Nigeria Police Force has said it will intensify the monitoring of online platforms to crackdown on cyber bullying and fake news meant to discredit efforts at maintaining law and order in the country.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

Mr Adejobi said the position was in reliance on the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and other extant criminal laws, decrying the potential threat of inciting fear and discord within the country.

He added that it was a direct assault on the stability and safety of society.

It read, “The Nigeria Police Force condemns in the strongest terms the dissemination of fake news and the perpetuation of cyberbullying aimed at discrediting the diligent efforts of our officers in maintaining law and order. It has come to our attention that certain individuals and groups have been maliciously spreading old content and misinformation across various online platforms, seeking to undermine public trust in the policing system.

“Fake news and cyberbullying which is criminalised by the combined effect of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and other extant criminal laws, not only pose a threat to the reputation the Force but also have the potential to incite fear and discord within the country. The NPF views these actions as a direct assault on the stability and safety of our society and will not hesitate to take decisive action against those found responsible.

“In response to this alarming trend, the NPF is intensifying its efforts to combat fake news and cyberbullying through increased vigilance and monitoring of online platforms as the IGP has ordered the NPF National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) to clamp down on those individuals and groups of people who are bent on jeopardising our national security and stability via the spread of fake news and misinformation. The IGP also ordered that all perpetrators found spreading false information or engaging in cyberbullying be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The police will work closely with relevant authorities to ensure swift and appropriate legal action against offenders.

“The NPF, therefore, calls upon all citizens to exercise caution and discernment when consuming and sharing information online. Together, we must stand united against the spread of misinformation and cyberbullying, recognising that the safety and well-being of our country depend on our collective efforts to uphold truth and integrity.’’

He also urged members of the public to report any instances of fake news or cyberbullying to the police for prompt investigation and action.

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