Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
The Anambra Police Command has threatened to prosecute social media influencers whose stock in trade is to peddle fake news in the state to cause disharmony.
The command also warned against mob actions which had often resulted in extrajudicial killings of suspects in the state.
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, Tochukwu Ikenga, stated these in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday.
He was reacting to a trending news item on social media platforms alleging that officers of the ‘B’ Divisional Headquarters, Awka tortured a man to death and labeled him an armed robber over an undisclosed issue.
Describing the social media reports as false, the command said “henceforth, the command shall invoke relevant sections of the cybercrime act against any happy- trigger writer/social media influencer whose aim is to publish falsehood and cause disharmony in the state.”
The command’s statement read: “The attention of Anambra State Police Command has been drawn to trending news on social media platforms alleging Officers serving in the ‘B’ Divisional Headquarters, tortured a Man to death and labeled him an armed robber over an undisclosed issue.
“The Command went into investigations on these allegations and discovered that is not true, but malicious, a product of fiction, the handiwork of mischief-makers and an attempt targeted to tarnish the image of some police personnel serving in the command and to incite the members of the public against the Police Command.
“To set the records straight, on 28/3/2023 by 10:35 pm, Police Operatives responded to a distress call along Secretariat road, Awka rescued a suspect from an angry mob and recovered a locally made gun with one expanded cartridge allegedly used in robbing his victims.
“The suspect was later identified as Mr Chibuike Christian Okafor popularly known as Jokef, collapsed after being rescued by the police, was immediately rushed to the hospital and was later confirmed dead by a Medical doctor.
“Meanwhile, the Investigation is still ongoing as the Command is still studying the video footage of the mob action to identify the persons behind this act.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng, has reiterated the campaign against mob action and encouraged the public to take suspects to police stations whenever they are apprehended, this will help the Police to conduct proper investigations into the activities of the suspects and bring them to justice under extant laws.”