The Nigerian police in Kano state have arrested the administrator and members of a WhatsApp group for allegedly circulating fake news.
The group was accused of spreading the picture of a woman who was accused of trafficking children in Kano.
According to PRNigeria, Kano police spokesperson, Magaji Musa, said the suspects were arrested after the woman issued a complaint to the state command.
Magaji said the suspects, during interrogation, said they had never met the victim and “sought forgiveness” for circulating the “fake” information about her.
He said the police have provided security cover for the woman identified as Bushirat Madaki “for fear of mob attacks because her image and the false report on her have gone viral”.
Magaji said: “We received a complaint from a married woman and a civil servant, Mrs. Bushirat Madaki, that her picture is being shared on WhatsApp group with the intent to malign and incite the public against her.
“Upon receiving the complaint, the commissioner of police, Alhaji Rabiu Yusuf ordered an immediate investigation by a special team who were able to trace and arrest three married suspects a man and two women for circulating the fake and offensive information.
“When confronted over the petition against them, the suspects admitted that the image and material on the woman were shared and forwarded in their group.
“They also admitted that they didn’t know the woman in person and have never had interaction with her before distributing the image and the story. They, therefore, sought forgiveness.
“For now, the police command has granted the suspects bails because the offence is bailable while further investigation is ongoing.
“The police command is also currently providing security cover for the innocent woman for fear of mob attacks because her image and the false report on her have gone viral.
“We call on social media users to be wary of what they receive and share or forward on social media, especially WhatsApp. We should guard against the misuse of social media platforms by sharing and forwarding objectionable or fake messages.”