ActionAid, CWPPF condemn arrest of journalist, tasks IGP on unconditional release

2024-05-05 17:45:40

Blueprint Newspapers Limited

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) weekend called on the Inspector General of Police to ensure the swift and unconditional release of Mr. Daniel Ojukwu and uphold the principles of press freedom and human rights enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

The call was informed by the recent arrest of journalist Ojukwu of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police.

The Country Director, Andrew Mamedu, in a press statement said the world is watching, and Nigeria's reputation as a democratic nation is at stake if law enforcement officers continue to treat journalists and press freedom as inconsequential.

He said this flagrant act violates the fundamental rights of journalists to freely practice their profession and it constitutes an affront to democracy and press freedom in Nigeria.

''It is deeply concerning that Daniel has reportedly been detained without due process and held at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, in Lagos state.

"The Nigerian Police Force must immediately provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding Ojukwu's detention.

"We join our voice with the world to reiterate our commitment to defending the rights of journalists and protecting the integrity of the media. Any attack on journalists is an attack on democracy itself, and we stand in solidarity with Ojukwu and all journalists facing threats, intimidation, and harassment in the pursuit of truth and justice.''

In a related development, the Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) also expressed concern about the reported arrest and continued detention of Mr Ojukwu.

In a press release, the Deputy Director of Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), Busola Ajibola, said the arrest and continued detention of Mr Ojukwu is not only a violation of his fundamental human rights but also an assault on press freedom.

"We call on the Nigerian Police Force to immediately release Mr. Ojukwu and follow legal procedures to engage him.

"We also call on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that the cybercrime act 2015 ceases to be a weapon used in the harassment and arbitrarily detainment of journalists and media workers. We make this call based on past instances where the cybercrime law has been used to criminalise journalism, harass and detain them.

"We reiterate that such intimidation constitutes an attack on press freedom and the right of the people to information," he stated.

2024-05-05 News