The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has warned those spreading fake news or engaging in cyberbullying to desist forthwith or face the full weight of the law.
Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi handed down the warning in a statement on Monday, February 12, 2024.
NPF noted 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.
While condemning the act, the Force said, fake news and cyberbullying which is criminalized 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 of the Force but also have the potential to incite fear and discord within the country.
ACP Adejobi said, “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, he said, “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 jeopardizing our national security and stability via the spread of fake news and misinformation”.
Adejobi said, 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, recognizing that the safety and well-being of our country depend on our collective efforts to uphold truth and integrity.
“Similarly, we urge members of the public to report any instances of fake news or cyberbullying to the Police for prompt investigation and action”, he said.