Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a blogger responsible for a published picture purported to be an crowded open cell linked to the Commission.
The suspect, Dikeocha Chukwuebuka, allegedly tweeted the picture describing it as an EFCC cell overcrowded with detainees.
The picture, which went viral on social media, showed alleged detainees squeezed together as a result of the conjestion.
Head, Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Commission, Usman Imam, while briefing journalists Thursday, disclosed that following a thorough investigation, the suspect was arrested along Ada George road in Port Harcourt.
Imam 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, that he claimed belongs to the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (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 of you here 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 evil report, Dikeocha Chukwuebuka, has been arrested. He was picked up at about 4pm on Wednesday 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,” he stated.
The state EFCC boss warned young Nigerians to desist from using their online platform for fake news, promising to investigate the matter and ensure that justice was served at the end.
“I want to assure the suspect and, in deed, media, that the Commission will follow through this investigation and ensure that justice is served in accordance with the law.
“Let me however seize this opportunity to warn young Nigerian bloggers desperate for online traffic to be a little more circumspect in using information which they have 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.”
Meanwhile, the suspect, Chukwuebuka has apologised to the Commission and general public for the misleading information.
“Firstly, I will like to apologise to the Commission and to the general public to what situation my tweet caused. It wasn’t my intention to shame or embarrass the Commission in anyway. But, it is 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 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“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,” he stated.