The police have come under pressure to release Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times reporter, who was arrested and detained on Tuesday.
Amnesty International Nigeria also said the police should release Ogundipe as journalism is not a crime and coercing a journalist to reveal his sources is a gross violation.
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) West Africa, one of Africa’s leading think tanks, condemned the harassment and detention of the journalists which it described as an attack on press freedom and liberty. The organisation also said the act was aimed at covering the truth which journalists seek to uncover.
Enough is Enough Nigeria. a civic group, said the attest of Ogundipe is unlawful and has no place in democracy.
According to the newspaper, Ogundipe was arrested over a story on the report Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), submitted to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over the blockade of the national assembly.
Idris submitted the report after the sack of Lawal Daura, former director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The IGP had requested that the force be given the permission to search the residences of all the suspects involved in the national assembly blockade, including Daura.
Irked by the leak of the story, the IGP was said to have ordered the arrest of Premium Times journalists.
Also arrested were Musikilu Mojeed, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, and Azeezat Adedigba, an education correspondent who was later released.
The newspaper said the police have been pressurising Ogundipe to disclose the source of the story.
It also reported that the police had placed a restriction on the bank account of Ogundipe.
The action of the police sparked an outrage on social media, with activists and civil society groups calling for his immediate release.
#FreeSamuelOgundipe is currently trending on social media. Below are some Twitter reactions:
The authorities @ProfOsinbajo @PoliceNG should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Samuel Ogundipe @PremiumTimesng detained simply for doing his job.#FreeSamuelOgundipe@UNHumanRights @UN_SPExperts @davidakaye https://t.co/MrHSNJyKCQ— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) August 14, 2018
Nigeria Police must release journalist Samuel Ogundipe of @PremiumTimesng. Journalism is not a crime. Forcing a journalist to reveal his sources is a gross violation. #ENDSAR #freeSamuelOgundipe— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) August 14,
Press Release: Arrest & detention of SAMUEL OGUNDIPE, @PremiumTimesng Investigative Journalist.— CDD West Africa (@CDDWestAfrica) August 14, 2018
Our attention has been drawn to the illegal arrest & detention of Premium Times, investigative journalist, @SamuelOgundipe, earlier today.#FreeOurJournalists #FreeSamuelOgundipe pic.twitter.com/I85IjvHrjy
We condemn the detention of @PremiumTimesng journalist by @PoliceNG.— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) August 14, 2018
Such attack on the media is unlawful and has no place in a democracy.#freeSamuelOgundipe https://t.co/BEv9iRivnQ
I’m shocked that @SamuelOgundipe would be arrested by SARS despite the commendations on a day like this. This is a self genocidal move by whosoever that called this shot. AG President @ProfOsinbajo Should look into this ASAP. #FreeSamuelOgundipeNOW https://t.co/Q16nH3Jj58— SEGA L’éveilleur®🚨 (@segalink) August 14, 2018
With the arrest of Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, by the Police for refusing to disclose the source of his story, I think Acting President @ProfOsinbajo should begin his task of overhauling a unit of the Police with removal of this insubordinate IG.#FreeSamuelOgundipe pic.twitter.com/Zvq7ghczN1— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) August 14, 2018
Dear @ProfOsinbajo the IGP of the @PoliceNG is practically telling you that your pronouncements hold no water. Arresting a journalist for not revealing his source is a no-no. #freeSamuelOgundipe— EDWARD Israel-Ayide (@wildeyeq) August 14, 2018
It is a BIG SHAME that our colleagues remain under attack in what should be a democracy. An attack on one is an attack on all, so let us raise our voices because #FreeSamuelOgundipe may be #FreeYouAndMe tomorrow!— Ruona J. Meyer (@RGAMeyer) August 14, 2018
Another #Nigerian journalist becomes #PrisonerOfConscience#FreeSamuelOgundipe@CPJAfrica#JournalistNotElenwon pic.twitter.com/L050rfs7EL— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) August 14, 2018