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FSARS arrests Premium Times reporter



PREMIUM TIMES, the online newspaper said its reporter Samuel Ogundipe was arrested today by Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad,(FSARS) over a story.

The arrest coincided with the announcement by the Inspector General of Police of some reforms of the police unit often attacked in the social media for human rights abuses, which prompted acting President Osinbajo to call for its overhaul.

Premium Times, which called for the release of the reporter, said the police wanted the journalist to disclose his source.

“Apart from Mr Ogundipe, this newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly detained and manhandled by the police at the SARS headquarters in Abuja”, said Dapo Olorunyomi, the publisher of the e-paper.

“Ms Adedigba was later released after about three hours of detention.

“Mr Mojeed and Mr Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters where Mr Ogundipe was made to write a statement.

“At the Force headquarters, a Deputy Commissioner of Police at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard directing lawyers to “rush to court” to obtain a warrant to detain Mr Ogundipe”.

Olorunyomi said Ogundipe’s ‘offence’ was that he published a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over last week’s siege to the National Assembly by security officials.

“When Mr Mojeed alerted the DCP that it was wrong compelling a journalist to disclose a source of information, the police officer became furious threatening the journalist. He said the police were acting within the law and that Samuel would remain detained unless he discloses those who gave him the document,” Olorunyomi said in a statement mailed Tuesday evening.

Premium Times condemned the arrest of its reporter and demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

“His detention is in gross violation of Mr Ogundipe’s rights, the Nigerian laws and all democratic tenets; and is an unacceptable abridgement of his citizenship and professional privileges”, Olorunyomi stated.
He called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to direct the Police to release Mr Ogundipe immediately and unconditionally.

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