Earlier this week, The Acting president ordered for the overhaul of the Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, but yesterday, 15th of August, 2018, SARS operative secretly arrested and detained a journalist, Samuel Ogundipe, staff of an online portal, Premium Times. They commenced trial at a Magistrate’s Court in Kubwa and denied him access to his lawyers. He was charged with criminal trespass and theft of police document.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Sani Ahmadu who supposedly handled the investigation, had asked the newspaper’s lawyer and other staff who visited that morning to leave the SARS facility and return at 4p.m. However, at about 4p.m, Premium Times’ Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, received a call from the court, and was informed that, against the Police boss’ promise, Ogundipe had been secretly taken to the Kubwa Magistrate’s Court for trial.
Meanwhile, some people have reacted to this unfair detention. Among those who reacted are Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Presidential candidate, Professor Ernest Ojukwu, SAN; media rights group, Journalists for the Defense of Human Rights, and many others. They voice their opinions but naming a few are JDHR, by its Programme Officer, Miss Chinomso Ekwuribe, who said:
“We observe that the human rights record of Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has already scored poorly in human rights. Detaining a journalist for refusing to disclose his source can only make an already bad situation worse. “If the police hierarchy believes that Mr Ogundipe has done anything wrong, he should be charged to court. If he has not committed any offence, then he should be allowed to go home.”
A rights group, Voice from the East, VEAST, also said:
“How can one explain the fact that SARS is being rebranded due to undeniable sequestrated hellish unleashing on the generality of the people? Let it be said unequivocally that SARS has outlived its usefulness, if it had any, considering the spate of wanton killings, tortures and maiming attributable to it”
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