Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 16 August 2018 | 624 times
The Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) has condemned in strong term, the incessant harassment of journalists and media houses by government agencies under Buhari-led administration.
The party, in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Akinloye Oyeniyi, said: “The arrest of Samuel Ogundipe of Premium Times by the Nigeria Police is unwarranted and unacceptable in any democracy.”
The statement further emphasised the Code of Ethics for Nigerian Journalists code-named Ilorin Declaration 1998, Code 4 Sub (i) which covers all journalists.
According to the Code of Ethics, “A journalist should observe the universally accepted principle of confidentiality and should not disclose the source of information obtained in confidence.”
The party, therefore, call for immediate and unconditional release of the reporter languishing in the Police cell.
Similarly, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President of the Senate, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, has described the continued illegal detention of Ogundipe as an affront on the fourth estate of the realm and an assault on freedom of the press, freedom of speech and due process.
In a statement released on Thursday, Olaniyonu, a former Editor and Editorial Board Chairman with THISDAY Newspaper, reiterated that freedom of speech and due process must be adhered to in Ogundipe’s case, stating that journalists must be free to practice their profession without fear of intimidation by security forces.
“As a journalist and media professional, I find it preposterous that Mr. Ogundipe has been held without recourse to due process for more than 48hours,” Olaniyonu said. “This is a democracy and even when it hurts, journalists must be free to write their truthful stories and protect their sources without the fear of being picked up and tried secretly.
“It is a settled issue in our jurisprudence that a journalist cannot be compelled to disclose the source of his or her information. In cases like Tony Momoh versus Senate, Ray Ekpu Vs IGP and many others, our courts have decided that the journalist cannot be compelled to reveal the source of his story.
“I want the world to know that my colleagues and I, in this profession, will continue to stand alongside Samuel Ogundipe. We will continue to speak up for him and demand his immediate and unconditional release. We will also continue to demand that due process must be followed and freedom of speech and that of the press must be protected,” the journalist said.
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