By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River State command of the Nigerian Police force has warned media practitioners and the general public to desist from sharing fake news or face the wrath of the law.
The warning was contained in a press release signed by the command’s public relations officer, DSP Irene Ugbo and issued on Friday in Calabar.
The command also dismissed reports that three babies were stolen from the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) last on Sunday.
The release addressed to Journalists said the activities of “some unscrupulous social media bloggers, freelancers and some group of misguided persons” was threatening to undermine the “good efforts” of journalists and the police by “posting fake/unconfirmed stories in their respective websites/social media platforms, aimed at cheap blackmail/spread of rumor to incite the general public against governments/institutions.”
On the issue of stolen babies, the Police said that: “The command wants to categorically state that the fake news making rounds on social media of three (3) children stolen at UCTH is not true but a blatant lie and circulated to undermine/tarnish the hospital’s reputation thereby causing security breach in the State and the nation’s hospitals.”
The UCTH management had in a press briefing heavily attended by personnel of Nigeria’s secret police, the SSS described the report as a “blatant lie.”
And, the police warned that, “in view of the possibilities of criminal elements using this as a ploy to propagate their nefarious activities, the Commissioner of police hereby warns such individuals/groups of persons to desist from such acts as the Command will not hesitant to deal decisively with peddlers of fake news in accordance with the laws of the land.”
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