By Dan Ugwu.
With the passage of time, pieces of information are emerging with regard to the invitation, detention and interrogation of Mr. Ambrose Nwaogwugwu; the DG of Imo PDP New Media.
The Imo Information Commissioner; Declan Emelumba was alleged to have revealed that Nwaogwugwu and two others, now at large, were the masterminds of some seditious fabrications against the state government, claiming, among other things, that the government had created three Emirates in the state and installed three Emirs.
More so, that the government planned to rename Imo State University after the late Chief of staff to the President; Abba kyari, and lately that the government had approved 15 Almajiri Schools for the state.
As far as am concerned, there is nothing wrong with the DSS inviting any person for some clarifications on allegations. It is neither a bridge of the person’s right nor an intimidation to cow any crusader to silence.
In such development, the suspect has every opportunity to either disclaim the findings or exonerate himself. Where he has no window of escape, the DSS has every right after 48 hours detention as approved by the court to arraign the person where the court will have the jurisdiction to read the charges against him. In Nwogwugwu’s case, lawful process is on display.
While the case at hand is coming as shock to many Nigerians is because of the misconception and misunderstanding people have about FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND INFORMATION. This natural democratic freedom does not in any way give citizens the platform to run down government.
Without prejudice to any political party, most of the new age politicians, party supporters and aides think that all there is in opposition is the brazen audacity to cause public disaffection and unrelenting determination to incite the public against the government.
This is why people peddle all sorts of false and malicious information against the government in the guise of playing opposition. Today, secondary school graduates and dropouts, uninformed and armchair informants stage malicious writings and unfounded lies against the person of Muhammadu Buhari and they sell their junk down the suburb, inciting revolt and installing hate in unsuspecting citizens who swallow junk as fact.
Various forms of drawings emerging from cartoonists have also joined in this infamous charade where almost every person has become a journalist.
Today, people have forgotten that even in the face of projected freedom of speech and information, there are still crimes labelled as defamation, libel, calumny and slander in media law. This should evoke a sense of responsibility where people will be responsible for their actions.
If Nwaogwugwu is responsible for those defamatory publications, let the law stipulate his guilt, if he exonerates himself, let his freedom be secured. This however, is not a clampdown on social crusading, it is a call to responsibility for one’s action.
We will not fail to report with dismay how governments in Nigeria have lately been using the DSS and police to intimidate and punish people unjustly, and how the Nigerian judiciary has always played out the government template.
The case of Agba Jalingo in Cross River State demanded public outcry before the DSS took the journalist to court where he was granted bail after months. If the DSS carries out her responsibility to the favour of Imo government in Nwaogwugwu’s case, the voice of condemnation will never go silent.
Dan Ugwu is a Social Analyst; he writes from Owerri, Imo State
Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Dan Ugwu and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”