Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana, has called for the release of Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times reporter.
The police arrested Ogundipe on Wednesday over a report the organisation published on the sack of Lawal Daura, former director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The police had reportedly asked Ogundipe to disclose how he obtained the letter used for a story but the journalist declined in line with the ethics of Journalism.
However Falana, in a statement issued on Tuesday, called on PremiumTimes to institute an action in court against the Nigerian Police Force, regardless of whether Mr Ogundipe is subsequently released or kept in prison.
The statement read: “Whether Samuel is released tonight or arraigned in court tomorrow by the police, PT should take advantage of this unlawful demand of the police to challenge criminal libel and other obnoxious anti-press laws in the statute book.
“While declaring seditious publications illegal and unconstitutional in 1983 in Arthur Nwankwo v The State; the Court of Appeal held that any public officer who feels defamed or embarrassed by any publication should sue for libel and not use the machinery of the State to harass his political opponents.
“The court proceeded to urge Nigerians to resist any attempt to use any of the laws imported into the country by the erstwhile colonial rulers to repress us.”