August 9, 2022

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MRA laments Police harassment on media


Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has known as on the federal authorities to rein within the legislation enforcement company, accusing it of changing into a device within the arms of wealthy or highly effective people and entities for harassing journalists and media organisations.

MRA was reacting to the raid on the pinnacle workplace of the Peoples Gazette newspaper by brokers of the Nigeria Police and the arrest of the editor and 4 different workers of the newspaper .

In an announcement issued in Lagos, MRA’s Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, mentioned “we now have noticed in current months a sample of policemen raiding media organizations, arresting and detaining their workers or intimidating media professionals in numerous different methods underneath the guise of investigating complaints made in opposition to such media organizations by highly effective people or entities.

“We condemn this pattern and state emphatically that it’s not the obligation of the Police to guard the reputations of people or organizations or protect them from scrutiny, particularly when the Police are failing woefully within the efficiency of their major perform of guaranteeing the protection and safety of all residents.”

In keeping with Mr. Longe, “We’re involved that whereas the Police have nearly abdicated their obligation to battle crime, ceaselessly claiming a scarcity of assets for the dereliction, they seem to haven’t any problem to find the assets to deploy troops to media homes to harass and intimidate journalists and different media staff on the behest of the wealthy and highly effective who’re uncomfortable with the media beaming the searchlight on them and their actions. We due to this fact name on the Federal Authorities to instantly put an finish to this follow.”

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Armed operatives of the Nigerian Police are reported to have raided the pinnacle workplace of Peoples Gazette newspaper within the Utako space of Abuja on July 22, 2022.

The policemen refused to state the explanation for the raid on the newspaper’s places of work however requested for the Managing Editor, Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, and a reporter, Mr. Adefemola Akintade. Upon being advised that each journalists had been away from the workplace, the policemen arrested Mr. John Adenekan, the newspaper’s assistant managing editor.

Mr. Adenekan was reportedly taken away to the Utako police division at about 12:35 p.m. by 5 armed policemen. The policemen returned to the premises and arrested 4 different workers members, particularly Ameedat Adeyemi, Grace Oke, Sammy Ogbu and Justina Tayani. They had been, nonetheless, all launched at about 6.00pm on the identical day.

Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Josephine Adeh, is reported to have mentioned that the journalists and workers of the newspaper had been solely invited for questioning over a petition written in opposition to them accusing the newspaper of defaming the character of former Chief of Military Workers, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd.), who’s now Nigeria’s ambassador to Benin Republic.

However Mr. Longe burdened that the safety of the status of any particular person is essentially a private matter including that the Police and different public assets shouldn’t be employed in vindicating the status of any particular person, whatever the standing of the particular person claiming to have been defamed.