The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, has written to the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Police seeking the probe of an alleged peddler of false claim of the death of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Acknowledgment copies of the separate letters addressed to the Director General of the DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, were obtained on Tuesday.
Copies of the letters dated November 14, 2018 were received at both the DSS and Police Force Headquarters in Abuja on November 6.Obono-Obla, whose office is domiciled in the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, specifically informed the heads of the security agencies in his petitions that one Bishop Eze Orieke made the false claim with purported documents from the London Bridge Hospital (Regional Medical Laboratory) to back it on the wall of a Facebook group called Ohafia Political Forum.
The letters read in part, “The said documents are attached herewith for your attention and consideration. “It is a notorious fact and incontrovertible proof that his excellency, Muhammadu Buhari is not dead but very much alive and kicking.” He added that the post on Facebook and the documents attached to it by the said Orieke “are fake and calculated to cause panic, disaffection and undermine national security.”
Copies of the documents, which were allegedly attached to the Facebook post and which Obono-Obla forwarded with his petitions to the security agencies, included a purported death certificate issued by the National Population Commission indicating that Buhari died of cardiac arrest in Abuja on September 19, 2017. “It is ill-motivated, distasteful and made in extreme bad faith,” Obono-Obla said of the documents in his petitions.
According to him, the act violated the provisions of section 24(1)(a),(b) and (2)(a),(b),(c)(i),(ii) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition & Prevention etc) Act, 2015. Offenses under the said provision carry between three to 10 years imprisonment with or without fines ranging between N7m and N15m. “In the light of the above, I respectfully urge you to investigate this matter,” Obono-Obla stated.
Our correspondent’s search of the Facebook accounts of both Bishop Eze Orieke and the Ohafia Political Forum did not yield a positive result. Also, repeated attempts to contact the said Orieke through a phone number supplied in the petitions as his were also futile.
The repeated calls made to the telephone line indicated that the contact could not be reached. The legal provisions which the suspect allegedly flouted according to Obono-Obla include,
“(1) 24. (1) Any person who knowingly or intentionally sends a message or other matter by means of computer systems or network that“(a) is grossly offensive, pornographic or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character or causes any such message or matter to be so sent; or “(b) he knows to be false, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience danger, obstruction, insult, injury, criminal intimidation, enmity, hatred, ill will or needless anxiety to another or causes such a message to be sent: commits an offence under this Act and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not more than N7m or imprisonment for a term of not more than three years or to both such fine and imprisonment.”