Forgive me for lying, blogger begs EFCC, Nigerians

blogger, Dikeocha Chukwuebuka, arrested by Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for publishing fake story on the commission, has asked for clemency.

Chukwuebuka allegedly published a picture of a crowded cell, alleging that it was the EFCC’s detention facility in Port Harcourt.

Chukwuebuka, who apologised to the commission and the general public for the misleading information, said that he didn’t mean to deceive the public and cause controversy.

He said: “Firstly, I will like to apologise to the commission and to the general public to the situation my tweet caused. It wasn’t my intention to shame or embarrass the commission in anyway, but it was a situation which I happened to come across.

“Also, I want to say that the pictures are not formulated or Photoshop and they do not belong to the EFCC. I will also like to say the picture was taken at a building through the glass and the picture belongs to the Police Anti-Cultism Unit and I am ready to offer all the assistance at my jurisdiction to investigate the matter.”

The EFCC Head, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, Usman Imam, said Chukwuebuka allegedly tweeted the picture, describing the EFCC cell as over crowded with detainees.

Imam, who addressed journalists, noted that the picture, which went viral on social media, also showed that the alleged detainees were clamped together thereby portraying congestion.

He said that following a thorough investigation, the suspect was arrested on Ada George Road in Port Harcourt.

The EFCC boss warned young Nigerians to desist from using their online platform for fake news, and promised to investigate the matter and ensure that justice was served.

He said: “On February 10, 2020, we were shocked by a tweet by one @TheRealDayne, a blogger who published a picture of a crowded open cell, which he claimed belonged to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the EFCC.”

Swayed by emotions, gullible Nigerians and many others across the world, descended on the commission with avalanche of scathing criticisms. It was a most embarrassing moment for us, given that the ‘news’ represented the very opposite of what the EFCC stands for, as far as care of detainees is concerned.

“On February 12, 2020, I invited some journalists to view our detention facility with a view to correcting the wrong impression, which the false tweet had created. On that occasion, I vowed that we will track and arrest the mastermind of the malicious tweet and bring him to justice. I am glad to inform you that the young man behind the report, Dikeocha Chukwuebuka, has been arrested. He was picked up about 4p.m. on February 26, at one of the new generation banks on Ada George Road, Port Harcourt. His arrest is perfectly in sync with the slogan of the commission which is, ‘EFCC’ will get you, anywhere, anytime.”

Imam noted that the EFCC would see the investigation to its logical conclusion and ensured that justice was served in accordance with the law.

He seized the opportunity to warn young Nigerian bloggers, desperate for online traffic, to be a little more circumspect in using information which they had not checked.

“It is important that social media influencers do more fact checking before publishing, to save the society from the ordeal of fake news,” said Imam.

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