OPAN Condemns Raid On Peoples Gazette’s Journalists, Demands Release Of Detained Journalists

By Adadainfo

The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) has condemned the raid carried out by the police at the Peoples Gazette’s office in Abuja, and the subsequent arrest of five journalists by armed policemen.

The raid took place Friday.

This was made known in a release made available to newsmen in Abuja. It was signed by Austyn Ogannah, the association’s president, and its secretary, Daniel Elombah.

It was gathered that policemen forcefully entered the media office and demanded to see the managing editor, Samuel Ogundipe, and a reporter, Adefemola Akintade, over a story it published on June 23, 2022, detailing how anti-graft agency ICPC raided a property allegedly belonging to a former chief of army staff and current ambassador to Benin Republic, retired General Tukur Buratai, where it recovered cash and luxury items.

According to the release, “The policemen then arrested five members of staff, John Adenekan, assistant managing editor; Ameedat Adeyemi, Grace Oke, Sammy Ogbu and Justina Tayani, and detained them at the police station.”

OPAN, in the statement by its president, noted that the ICPC had confirmed that it executed an operation at the building as reported by Peoples Gazette, but General Buratai thereafter alleged that the story defamed his reputation and complained to the police at the Utako Police Station in Abuja.

According to the statement, “State security services cannot continue this unlawful and crude practice of raiding media houses in a bid to intimidate the press.

“Today’s raid of the Peoples Gazette’s office and subsequent arrest of journalists reminds us of the draconian era of the military rule, especially during the reign of General Muhammadu Buhari between 1983 and 1985.

“If retired General Buratai feels he was defamed by the report, the lawful and correct approach would be to sue the news outfit for libel in a court of law.

“The days of using state security agencies to harass and intimidate the press and journalists are over. This desecration of people’s rights cannot be tolerated in a democracy any longer.”

OPAN therefore called for the immediate release of the journalists, and demanded an unreserved apology from the police and the Nigerian government over this incident.

Adadainfo Adadareporters.com is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: adadainfo1@gmail.com Phone: 08071790941

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