ALBNI condemns Premium Times’ Samuel Ogundipe’s continued detention
A civil society organisation, the Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative, ALBNI, has condemned the continued detention of Mr Samuel Ogundipe, a journalist with Premium Times and ceaseless harassment of journalists in the course of duty, saying it was a reminder of the dark days of the military junta.
The condemnation is contained in a release jointly signed by ALBNI’s President, Remi Adebayo and its Director of Communications, Bode Gbadebo in Abuja on Wednesday.
“On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, we were reminded yet again of the dark days of the military junta, which disregarded and disrespected all notions of a free society, when Special Tactical Squad (STS) operatives arrested a journalist with PremiumTimes, Samuel Ogundipe, in the course of lawful duty.
“It a well known fact that, journalism as being practiced globally, has its set of ethics and one of them is non-disclosure of a source of a factual story.
“If the reporter arrested had written and filed a fake story, that would have been a different ball game as he would be made to face the wrath of the law but in this case, he wrote a factual story which the concerned authorities have not denied,” the statement read.
The group said the arrest and detention by the police are condemnable and uncalled for since he did not violate any law of the land and we demand that he be released immediately without any condition.
“We are constrained to say that if authorities are embarrassed by the leak of the sensitive documents or communication, they should rather do an in-house check instead of harassing an outsider whose profession requires him or her to dig deep and not bound to disclose his or her source,” ALBNI said.
The organisation therefore demand the release of Ogundipe and other journalists being held under whatever guise in the interest of democracy and respect for the rule of law which protect journalists in the discharge of their constitutional duties.