in , , , , ,


Still on the #FreeCKN matter, I am re-posting a Facebook post I found on the fb group “The Due Process Advocates (DPA)” posted on Sept 6, 2015 titled “THAT A NAKED ASSAULT ON FREE PRESS AND THE NEW MEDIA: DPA SHALL INTERVENE IN THE DEFENCE OF THE RIGHTS OF THE BLOGGERS”:

Two Nigerian bloggers (one is not even a blogger) are being detained on the order the Federal High Court because of a publication they made that were deemed to be defamatory. In other words, Nigerian authorities have turned defamation into a criminal offense.

The first of the men is Mr. Seun Oloketuyi, a blogger. He wrote a story about a banker who allegedly impregnated a married staff of his bank. The second man, Chris Kehinde Nwandu, merely shared Oloketuyi’s story on his Facebook page. The man they wrote against is Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank.

Apparently, Mr. Okonkwo, a man of means, contacted the police, and you can imagine the rest of what happened.

The two men (blogger and Facebook user) are now in prison for publishing a story about Mr. Okonkwo, which Mr. Okonkwo considered defamatory.

The implication of this development is obvious. If the story was published on ThisDay or Punch or Guardian, the police would not arrest. But if published by the little people, they arrest them and place them in jail under the colour of law. Everybody knows that the social media has empowered the ordinary people and given them the ability to challenge government. If we allow the authorities to arrest people for exercising their rights in the new media, as happens in Saudi Arabia, and some other nasty regimes of the world: if we allow that here, then the freedoms of the people shall be suppressed against the constitution.

So, DPA shall fight this. I am hereby calling upon the lawyers at ECULAW & CO. to prepare to enter my appearance as counsel for the two men in prison. I shall represent them free of charge.

NOTE: If it turns out that the reason for the arrest has to do with more than a mere publication of falsehood, I will reconsider my position. In other words, if it turns out that these men falsified pictures and documents or sources, and that the prosecution if for forgery, extortion or blackmail, I will reconsider ~ Emeka Ugwuonye

Comments on the post has been pouring in and am sharing some with you (below):


Below are some of the other response to this statement or should we call it “accusation”?:


I am particularly drawing your attention to the following law that was supposedly signed into law by the Former President of Nigeria (GEJ) on May 15th, 2015, known as the “Cybercrime (Prevention, Prohibition) Act” where Section 24 (1)(b) makes defamation a crime if it is false and published on any type of social media?.

Under this law, it seems that a lot of Bloggers, Journalists and Social Media enthusiasts, based in Nigeria might easily find themselves liable to a criminal act and tantamount to prosecution in the Nigerian Court of law for their “Freedom of Expression”. In my opinion, many will be found guilty and liable to face prosecution and that to me is against the FREEDOM OF SPEECH!

As for the accusation of “extortion” and “blackmail” (yet to be confirmed), truth be told, this is how a lot of Nigerian Bloggers and Journalists make their money. After all, Journalists in Nigeria are one of the lowest paid workers in the country. I am not saying that “blackmail” or “extortion” is right; in fact it is against the law but to that I’ll say let him without sin (in Nigeria Media/Broadcast Industry) cast the first stone. It is a known fact that majority of you are also guilty of this crime – should you all then face the full extent of this new law? The answer, I guess is blowing in the wind! #FreeCKN #FreeChrisNwandu ~ FAB


What do you think?

30 Reportedly Killed In Borno After Bomb Blast

Watch Out For Social Media Ghost