Umahi arrests journalist for allegedly violating state’s obscure cybercrime law

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The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has arrested a journalist, Godfrey Chikwere over a Facebook post, which he said contains hate speeches.

Chikwere was arrested by the Ebonyi State police over the weekend following a petition by the State government accusing him of “fake news, hate speech, incisive publication and cyberbullying.”

The petition signed by the State Commissioner for Information, Orji Uchenna Orji, addressed to the State Police commissioner, highlighted that Chikwere made a “dangerous and disturbing publication intended to cause fear and breach of peace in the state”

The petition reads, “I write to inform your esteemed office as follows: That on the 8th day of October 2021 at about 14:44 hours, one Godfrey Chikwere with phone number 080615707** did publish fake news and incisive post in a Facebook profile called Godfrey Chikwere and other media platforms and stated as follows: Nigerian Army is seriously and willingly losing respect.

“That on the same 8th of October, 2021, Godfrey Chikwere in the Facebook profile made a dangerous and disturbing publication and stated as follows: ‘They (politicians) can pay youth to murder a perceived political enemy but they can’t give such youth money to start a business.

That this false, fake and incisive publication is intended to cause fear, cyberbullying, riot crisis and breach of the peace in the state. (A copy of publication attached.

“That Godfrey Chikwere has acted in violation of the Ebonyi State cybercrimes (prohibition) law No 012 of 2021.”

Meanwhile, aggrieved youths and activists in the state have taken to social media to demand the release of the journalist under the hashtag #FreeGodfreyChikwere.

See Chikwere’s Facebook post below: