The Nigeria Police Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, has claimed ignorance of the situation surrounding the arrest of Premium Times reporter , Mr. Samuel Ogundipe.
He made the claim on Wednesday when answering a question during an interview on Kakaaki, an Africa Independent Television, AIT, programme.
He however said he would find out the details of the case.
His words: “I am not aware of the details of the matter. But what I can say is that any Nigerian, whether a journalist or any member of the public can be invited by an investigating officer to come around so that he or she can clear themselves of any allegations against them. Since you are telling me now, I will find out exactly what is happening.”
Ogundipe was arrested on Tuesday by the police over a story he wrote based on the letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the Director General of Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, who was sacked recently.
The police insisted that the reporter should disclose the source of the document from which he got his information.
He was subsequently arrested and detained.
The arrest has since been condemned by different groups, individuals and the human rights community.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, while condemning the arrest called for the immediate release of the reporter.
The National President of NUJ, Abdulwaheed Odusile, in a statement said the constant harassment and molestation of journalists by the police and other agents of the state were horrifying.
His words: “The Nigeria Union of Journalists condemns in the strongest terms the arrest and detention of Premium Times Reporter , Samuel Ogundipe today by the police and his detention at the facility of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS in Abuja.
“Samuel Ogundipe was arrested for reporting on the report sent to the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on the sacked and detained DG of SSS, Malam Lawal Daura.
“The NUJ is horrified by the constant harassment and molestation of journalists by the police and other agents of the state and requests that such should abate forthwith.
“It should be noted that confidentiality of sources is necessary for good journalism to flourish and journalists should not be coerced into revealing such sources.
“We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Samuel Ogundipe and an end to all forms of impunity against the media.”