The National Forum of Democrats (NFD) has asked the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and punish those behind death reports about President Muhammadu Buhari.
This call followed publication by a news site that Buhari had died in a London hospital.
A statement on Monday by president of the forum, Gambo Danbatta, said the website had evil intentions, calling forglobal efforts to curb the menace of fake news which had now become a “growing international concern”.
“The persons behind the fake news site are deploying it for evil. They registered it from Scottsdale, Arizona, the US in October of last year and updated the site for this evil plot sometimes in April this year.
“Thankfully, presidential aides were quick to calm Nigerians and assure them as the to the safety and health of Mr President.
“This has nothing to do with freedom of expression, which is not the same as freedom to lie, it is about criminals plotting to use fake news to destabilise the country.
“The office should work with the relevant stakeholders to shut down the fake site while creating an early warning system to identify similar sites that will proliferate in the days ahead and build the necessary alliances that would make it possible to shut them down within minutes.
“Our hope is that the real Metro newspaper would work with the British High Commission and the Nigerian authorities to track down those exploiting its name to commit crime.
“Those behind the fake news should be treated in this instance as no less than hackers who deserve to get the maximum punishment possible once identified”, he stated.