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Over Twelve Hours After His Arrest, PremiumTimes Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, Still In Police Net

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Over  Twelve Hours After His Arrest, PremiumTimes Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, Still In Police Net

Over twelve hours that Premium Times Journalist, Samuel Ogundipe, was arrested by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, the journalist is yet to be released.

According to the online news medium, its reporter is being pressed to disclose the source of news published by medium. It will be recalled that yesterday, Acting President Yemi osinabjo ordered the immediate overhauling of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) over abuse of fundamental human rights of Nigerians.

#ENDSARS! Osinbajo Orders Immediate Overhaul Of SARS

In a statement shared on its twitter handle, Premium Times  revealed that SARS arrested and detained Samuel Ogundipe, who covers the security sector, on Tuesday.

“Also detained but later released at the SARS headquarters in Abuja were the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, who was manhandled, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba.

 

Arrest warrant relied upon to arrest Premium Times Journalists

Arrest warrant relied upon to arrest Premium Times Journalists

Adedigba was later released after spending about three hours in detention.

Mojeed and Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters, where Ogundipe was made to write a statement, just as a DCP at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard directing lawyers to “rush to court” to obtain a warrant to detain Ogundipe.”

Local and international media rights advocates have criticised the police over the arrest. The International Press Centre (IPC) in a statement by its director, Lanre Arogundade, said it was particularly dismayed that the “Police authorities want Mr Ogundipe to disclose the source of information over a story published by the newspaper on a correspondent between the Inspector General of Police and the Vice President.

“This, to us, is a clear assault on press freedom and a clear threat to the safety of the detained journalist and his colleagues.

“The Police Authorities are also hereby reminded that the Freedom of Information Act, a federal law, enacted in 2011, in Section 16 subsection C confers on the media ‘Journalism Confidentiality Privileges’ and as such should desist from engaging in unconstitutional acts. We condemn the arrests and detention of the concerned journalists and hereby demand the immediate release of Mr. Ogundipe.”

The Centre for Democracy and Development head by Idayat Hassan also added its voice to the demand for the release of Premium Times journalist, Samuel Ogundipe.

In its statement, the Development and Democracy focused group said it “condemn in strong terms the detention of Samuel Ogundipe of the Premium Times. This case again points to the intolerance and clamp down on the media, thoughts and fundamental rights by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). The constant attempt to intimidate journalist to cover the truth, against the oath of speaking, search and unveiling the truth, men of the press have sworn to uphold is not just inimical to democracy but the sustenance of our hard fought and won democracy in Nigeria. As Walter Lippmann noted in Liberty and the News, “There can be no higher law in journalism than, to tell the truth, and shame the devil.”

CDD call on the Nigerian Police Force under the leadership of Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kpotun to immediately release Samuel Ogundipe. The protection of a source is a sacred trust journalist uphold. Samuel Ogundipe has the right to protect the secrecy of informants’ information.

We immediately call on the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, to respect the fundamental rights of journalists and unconditionally release of Mr Ogundipe from unlawful arrest and detention and bring to an end to all forms of harassment of the fourth estate of the realm.

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