Updated: February 24, 2021
Outrage continued to grow in Nigeria on Wednesday following the arrest and detention of a journalist by the police on Tuesday.
Samuel Ogundipe, who works for Abuja-based online newspaper, Premium Times, was detained by the police on Tuesday following a story he wrote last week.
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The police were reportedly under duress demanding he disclose the identity of his news source.
Two other journalists of the same publication, including its editor-in-chief, were briefly detained and later released on Tuesday.
But Ogundipe has remained in detention, his newspaper said on Wednesday.
The continued detention has sparked outrage and a flood of statements condemning the police. The incident has also triggered calls for more press freedom in Nigeria, only seven months ahead of Nigeria’s general elections.
“The harassment, arrest and illegal detention of Premium Times journalists and editors by men of the Nigerian police over a report they did concerning the invasion of the National Assembly by the DSS constitutes an assault on free press and stands condemned in the eyes of all Nigerians who cherish the ideals of liberty,” the Socialist Party of Nigeria said in a statement.
“The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) hereby joins Nigerians to condemn the assault and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Premium Times journalist, Samuel Ogundipe and the Publisher of Weekly Source Magazine, Jones Abiri”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) also condemned the illegal detention, saying in a statement to Today News Africa in Washington DC that: “We regard the development as a reminder of the dark days of military dictatorship when press freedom was trampled upon with the imposition of the draconian Decree Four on the nation.
“We equally consider as hypocritical the remarks of the Nigeria Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Moshood Jimoh who reportedly said he was unaware of the case during a live television programme”.