A reporter of Nigerian online news publication outfit, Premium Times, Samuel Ogundipe has been arrested and detained by the Police with his account frozen.
According to Premium Times, Ogundipe was arrested by the Police after he drove to the SARS Headquarters in Abuja over an invitation by the Police for a story he wrote about them.
According to Premium Times, Mr. Ogundipe was arrested at about 3:00 p.m. and driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters where he was made to write a statement concerning the source of his stories about the Police. Ogundipe declined giving his source as that is permitted within the ethics of journalism.
Mr. Ogundipe’s salary account with Ecobank was frozen in an attempt to further frustrate him. One of the police officers in charge of the investigation, Emmanuel Onyeneho, an inspector, was heard saying the freezing of the account was done as a means of incapacitating the reporter.
Premium Times also reported that at the Force headquarters, where he was taken, a Deputy Commissioner of Police at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard dishing out instructions to lawyers to “rush to court” to obtain a warrant to detain Mr. Ogundipe.
Ogundipe was quizzed and pressed further on the source of the story but remained stoic and didn’t divulge the information.
Mr. Ogundipe has been taken back to the SARS headquarters in Abuja and is currently being detained there.
The Police further levelled accusations against Ogundipe for writing against the Police and its policies.
Mr. Onyeneho told Mr. Ogundipe that they believe the journalist had written more negative stories than positive stories about the police and they considered that a crime.
He pressed the journalist to reveal all the sources for his stories about the police, something Mr. Ogundipe professionally declined.
Other than Mr. Ogundipe, Premium Times’ Editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly detained and harassed by the police at the SARS headquarters in Abuja.
Mojeed and Adedigba have been freed by the Police after hours of detainment.
Editor’s Note: ALEDEH hereby calls on the Police to free Ogundipe as he has not violated any rule of law and of the land and has acted within the stipulations of his profession as a journalist, charged with the responsibility of reporting societal ills and being the watchdog of the government and its institutions.