Tuesday, August 9

Why blogger Abubakar Sidiq Usman was arrested, EFCC explains

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Monday confirmed the arrest of an Abuja-based blogger, Abubakar Sidiq Usman, over alleged cybercrimes. There were speculations Mr. Usman, known for his pro-APC stance, was picked up yesterday by security operatives in connection with an article titled “EFCC Boss, Magu Commences Total War With Core EFCC Staff” published on his website Abusidiqu.com.

But the EFCC, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the popular blogger was picked up for offences bordering on cyber-stalking.

According to the Cybercrime Act, 2015, Section 15(1), “Any person who, by means of a public communications network persistently sends a message or other matter that: (a) is grossly offensive 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 of 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 less than N2,000,000.00 or imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both fine and imprisonment”.

A move that sparked social media outrage with the #FreeAbusidiq hashtag trending on Twitter, demanding his immediate release.

It said: “the suspect has already been offered administrative bail and would be released to his elected sureties”.

If charged, Mr. Usman would be the third blogger to be arrested under the Cybercrime Act, which was signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. Two bloggers, Seun Oloketuyi and Emmanuel Ojo were arrested in 2015 for offences that allegedly contravened the Act.

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