Man arrested and detained for 26 days after his brother shared a defamatory post on X against Fashola

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), has said it would be arraigning Chike Ibezim, an entrepreneur and the younger brother of the publisher of Reportera News, Nnamdi Ibezim, for being complicit in cyber-stalking, cyber-bullying, and conspiracy.

Chike was arrested on August 10, following a publication on the news platform established by Nnamdi Ibezim, claiming that former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, was drafting the presidential election tribunal verdict that would be handed to judges. Fashola denied the claim and petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) over the “defamatory” report.

Following a report from Priory Terrace Solicitors on behalf of Fashola, the Nigerian Police Investigators from the Force Intelligence Bureau carried out an intensive investigation into the complaint and discovered that the suspect made a false publication on his handle – @ReporteraNews on the social media platform ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter on Saturday, August 5. 

According to the post, Fashola was allegedly involved in the ”drafting” of a controversial verdict in the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal and that the military had been deployed to his residence to restrict movement. The police say the post intended to cast aspersion on the person of the former Minister, contrary to Section 24 of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, 2015, which has the potential to ‘’cause harm, distress, and damage to his reputation, as well as posing great threats to national security and stability of our dear country”.

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the spokesperson of the Nigeria Police Force, Muyiwa Adejobi, said technical and tactical analysis into the phone number used for making the publication in question showed it was registered to one Chike Ibezim.

“Armed with this intelligence, police investigators proceeded to the office address of the suspect in Maitama, Abuja, where Chike Ibezim was arrested, while Nnamdi Emmanuel Ibezim, and one Tope who it was alleged handles all social media correspondences are currently at large and have not honoured all invitations by the Nigeria Police Force.

Therefore, the Nigeria Police Force states clearly that their radar is on other individuals who are involved in the case and others alike for possible arrest and prosecution.

The NPF thereby warns that cyber-stalking and other cyber-related unguarded utterances are criminal and capable of heating up the polity and causing chaos.

This new trend of cyber-stalking, and a massive spread of fake news should be discouraged in all manners for our collective sake, and the sake of our dear country,” Adejobi said

Speaking to newsmen, Chike said has no idea where his brother is. According to him, the number used to share the post on X is for his startup business and he had no idea when his brother used it.