Over 200 Journalists Write Osinbajo To Demand The Release Of Detained Reporter, Samuel Ogundipe

According to the letter signed by Niyi Tabiti, Moji Danisa-Dawodu, Kanbi Owolabi and Funke Osae-Brown on behalf of the journalists.

Over 200 Nigerian journalists have written a letter to the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo to demand the release of Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe who has been in custody since August 14th and is being prosecuted for his refusal to disclose the source of a published story.

According to the letter signed by Niyi Tabiti, Moji Danisa-Dawodu, Kanbi Owolabi and Funke Osae-Brown on behalf of the journalists,

‘today, we received with sadness news that Samuel was arraigned before an Abuja magistrate court by the police in a bid to get an order to prolong his detention. It is also worrisome that the police curiously omitted the fact that Samuel is a Nigerian journalist in the charge sheet presented to the magistrate.  We therefore demand that you use your good office as a renowned advocate of law and social justice to intervene expediently for the release of Samuel Ogundipe’.

 

See the full letter below…

August 16, 2018

The Acting President

Prof. Yemi Osibanjo (SAN)

The Presidency

Aso Villa,

Abuja, FCT

Your Excellency Sir,

REQUEST FOR AN  IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF MR. SAMUEL OGUNDIPE, A JOURNALIST WITH THE  PREMIUM TIMES

Greetings to you Sir.

We appreciate all the good efforts of  this administration in making Nigeria a  safe place to live and work.

This letter is borne out of our concern for one of our colleagues, Mr. Samuel Ogundipe, a Security reporter with the Premium Times, an online newspaper.

Samuel was arrested by the police, alongside his Editor-In-Chief, Muskilu Mojeed and the Education reporter, Azeezat Adedigba on Tuesday the 14th of  August 2018. The other two were later released.

Information obtained from the pair revealed that the police refused to release Samuel due to  his refusal to disclose the source of a published  story on a recent memo of the Inspector General of Police, IGP addressed to you last week.
As you know Sir, confidentiality of sources is critical to the growth of quality journalism  in every  civilised society.

Today, we received with sadness news that Samuel  was arraigned  before an Abuja magistrate court by the police in a bid to get an order  to prolong his detention. It is also worrisome that the police curiously omitted the fact that Samuel is a Nigerian journalist in the charge sheet presented to the magistrate.

We therefore demand that you use your good office as a renowned advocate of  law and social justice to intervene expediently for the release of  Samuel Ogundipe.

Nevertheless, we believe that the rule of law should be followed to the letter in the event of any legal and fair prosecution. We also wish to remind the Nigerian Police that a federal law enacted in 2011 (Freedom of Information Act) reposes on the Nigerian media certain privileges of Confidentiality in section 16c, and the police shall therefore be held accountable for any unconstitutional act designed to oppress or traumatize Mr. Ogundipe, or any Nigerian journalist practising legitimately.

We thank Your Excellency in advance, as we look forward to your usually swift  action on this matter.

For and on behalf of over 200 independent Nigerian journalists, bloggers and other media workers.

Signed:

1.Niyi Tabiti

2.Moji Danisa-Dawodu

3.Kanbi Owolabi

4.Funke Osae-Brown

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