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Egbetokun Never Harassed Any Journalist; Punch Goofed

By Adewole Kehinde

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom, and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.”Benjamin Franklin.

After reading the junk called “The Punch Editorial of May 16, 2024, “Tinubu, Egbetokun, stop harassing journalists,” I have no choice but to counter the false narrative they are selling to their ignorant readers.

On May 1, 2024, Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, was arrested by the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos State, for violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

The Nigeria Police under IGP Egbetokun play a crucial role in upholding press freedom by ensuring the safety and security of journalists while they carry out their work.

The police have been responsible for protecting journalists from harassment, intimidation, and physical attacks that may seek to impede their ability to report freely and accurately.

Additionally, the police have not deviated from their duty to uphold the rule of law and protect the rights enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution, including the freedom of expression and the press.

This includes investigating and prosecuting any individual or group that seeks to violate these rights, such as by censoring or silencing journalists through threats or violence.

On July 6, 2022, Nigeria joined 66 other countries that had signed and ratified the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime to enhance international cooperation and provide a common platform and procedural tools for efficient, and safe cyberspace under Section 41(2)(a) of Cybercrime Act 2015, requiring conformity of Nigerian cybercrime and cybersecurity laws and policies with regional and international standards.

The Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act, 2015 (the “Act”) was enacted to provide a unified legal, regulatory and institutional framework for the prohibition, prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of cybercrimes in Nigeria.

The Act is a legislative response to the increasing rate of fraudulent activities in cyberspace for which the country had never had any specific statutory or regulatory regime.

The Act also reflects a positive legislative effort to ensure the protection of information which is vital to national security, by providing for the designation of computer systems or networks containing such information, as constituting Critical National Information
Infrastructure.

The Act also aims to protect intellectual property and privacy rights in addition to the preceding objectives.

I recall that the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu called for the full implementation of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024, including the operationalisation of the National Cybersecurity Fund by all regulators and businesses specified in the second schedule of the Act.

Therefore, the Nigeria Police must carry out the Act as stipulated by the constitution.

The Nigeria Police under IGP Kayode Egbetokun, are essential in safeguarding press freedom by maintaining a safe environment for journalists to operate and holding perpetrators of press freedom violations accountable.

 

Adewole Kehinde is the publisher of Swift Reporters and can be reached via 08166240846. E-mail: kennyadewole@gmail.com

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