August 15, 2018
CACOL CONDEMNS ARREST OF JOURNALIST SAMUEL OGUNDIPE
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has joined other local and International civil society groups to condemn the Nigeria Police over yesterday’s arrest of Samuel Ogundipe- a premium Times online newspaper journalist.
This was contained in a press release issued by Mr. Okechukwu Ndiribe, the Coordinator of Research and Documentation on behalf of the Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran.
According to the CACOL boss: “We regard the development as a reminder of the dark days of military dictatorship when press freedom was trampled upon with the imposition of the draconian Decree Four on the nation.
“We equally consider as hypocritical the remarks of the Nigeria Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Moshood Jimoh who reportedly said he was unaware of the case during a live television programme.
“We had expected that the top echelon of Nigeria Police should have acted with a greater sense of responsibility on a day Acting President Yemi Osinbajo ordered that its notorious unit –SARS – should be overhauled to reflect the present administration’s commitment to the rule of law and respect for the fundamental human rights of Nigerians which ought to be guaranteed under a democratic system of government.
“However, we are shocked that the same SARS decided to descend on the media in a brazen manner thereby throwing caution to the winds. We actually consider this attitude of the Police as an affront on the Acting President perhaps for insisting that the Police should embrace reforms that are in line with international best practices.
“What is actually expected of the police authorities if it is dissatisfied with the professional conduct of a journalist is to charge such a media practitioner to court in line with the provisions of extant laws applicable in the country. The Police have no right to ask a journalist to disclose the source of any information he obtains in the course of doing his job.
“We equally condemn the earlier harassment and detention of Mr. Ogundipe’s colleagues by the Police.
“We call for the immediate release of Mr Ogundipe or his arraignment in court if he has committed any offence known to the law”.
Research and Documentation Coordinator, CACOL
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