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Police confirm arrest of social media influencer

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The Nigerian police have confirmed the arrest of Chude Franklin Nnamdi, a Nigerian social media influencer for alleged cyberstalking.

The announcement which was posed on the official Twitter handle of the police by Olumuyiwa Adejobi, public relations officer of the police force headquarters Abuja said that Nnamdi was arrested and being investigated by the Nigeria Police Force National Cyber Crime Centre (NPF-NCCC) Abuja, for cyberstalking, pursuant to a complaint received via a petition about his activities on social media which contradicts the provision of Section 24 of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 and other criminal laws.

Also, it was communicated that a prima facie case has been established against Nnamdi as the case file has been forwarded to the police force legal department for further action.

Nnamdi was arrested in Onitsha, Anambra State on 18 March, 2023 during the nation’s gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections. Charles Soludo, Anambra State Governor earlier confirmed the arrest on Sunday 19 March but had no information on the specific allegations on Nnamdi’s arrest.

“The Commissioner of Police, Anambra State Police Command has confirmed to me, that one Mr Nnamdi Chude was arrested yesterday (18/03/23) in Anambra by the Cyber Crime Unit of Interpol and taken to Abuja today (19/03/23),” he said.

Nnamdi is a social media influencer on the Nigerian Twitter space and is notable for condemning the actions of violence being perpetrated by thugs during the election period. Referring to the violent attacks and voter suppression in Lagos, he said the events were a state sponsored terror attack on its citizens and called for the governor Babajide SanwoOlu to be held responsible.

Read also: Nigeria recorded over 3.8m cyber attacks during governorship elections – FG

Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labor party in the just concluded February 25th elections who has challenged the results of the presidential elections in court has condemned the arrest of Nnamdi calling it a further confirmation of Nigeria’s poor and declining performance in the Rule of Law, Voice and Accountability, and other governance indicators.

“With Voice, and Accountability, the No 1 key indicator of good governance, it is very important, particularly for those in authority to note and accept that freedom of expression is a fundamental right and ingredient for the development of a good society. While I appreciate that the freedoms must be exercised in line with the rule of law, arresting Nigerians for tweeting on their leaders and those in authority decimates the opportunity for inclusive governance and accountability which are highly needed in a developing country like Nigeria,” he tweeted on his Twitter handle.

Obi urged leaders to know the consequences of occupying public offices which includes citizens having their opinion on their leaders and leaders having the right to respond to those opinions. He further said arbitrary use of office will do no one any good, including those in authority and called for those in concern to compassionately release Nnamdi.