For circulating fake news about a married woman said to be involved in trafficking children, the Police in Kano State has arrested the administrator and members of a Whatsapp group, SaharaReporters states.
Magaji Musa Maaji, the spokesman of the Kano Police Command, told PR Nigeria that the suspects were arrested after the woman lodged a complaint with the Police.
According to Magaji, “We received a complaint from a married woman and a civil servant, Mrs. Bushirat Madaki, that her picture is being shared on WhatsApp group with the intent to malign and incite the public against her.
“Upon receiving the complaint, the Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Rabiu Yusuf, ordered an immediate investigation by a special team, who were able to trace and arrest three married suspects, a man, and two women, for circulating the fake and offensive information.
“When confronted on the petition against them, the suspects admitted that the image and material on the woman were shared and forwarded in their group.
“They also admitted that they didn’t know the woman in person and have never had interaction with her before distributing the image and the story. They, therefore, sought forgiveness.
“For now, the Police Command has granted the suspects bail because the offence is bailable, while further investigation is ongoing. The Police command is also currently providing security cover for the innocent woman for fear of mob attacks, because her image and the false report on her have gone viral.”
Noting that it is an offence to circulate fake news that could negatively affect the nation’s security or jeopardise an individual’s personal freedom, the Police spokesman urged social media users “to be wary of what they receive and share or forward on social media, especially WhatsApp”.
He continued: “We should guard against the misuse of social media platforms by sharing and forwarding objectionable or fake messages.”