Human rights lawyer calls out police spokesman Adejobi for invoking non-existent cybercrimes act law to intimidate Nigerians

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Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer, has called out Muyiwa Adejobi, the spokesperson for the Nigeria Police Force, for allegedly misapplying an outdated section of the Cybercrimes Act to intimidate a citizen over a social media post.

The dispute began when Adejobi posted a photo on social media of all past and present Inspector Generals of Police with a caption celebrating their service. A user, @hommiesdrey, responded by labeling all the Inspector Generals as corrupt, which provoked Adejobi. He referred to the Cybercrime Prohibition Act and suggested that the user would need to provide evidence for their claim, implying a potential arrest.

Effiong criticized Adejobi’s response as disgraceful and misleading, pointing out that the law Adejobi cited no longer exists. He explained that the controversial Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act, which the police had been using to harass Nigerians, was repealed and replaced with a new provision in February 2024. The new Act no longer criminalizes posts that harm a person’s reputation and limits the offense of cyberstalking to specific categories of messages.

Effiong emphasized that the user’s post did not fall under these categories and urged Nigerians to disregard the Force PRO’s comments. He concluded by criticizing the Force PRO for further damaging the police’s image with his unprofessionalism and disregard for citizens’ rights.

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