The police say Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times reporter, was arrested for theft and unlawful possession of restricted and classified documents which could jeopardise state security.
In a statement on Thursday, Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the force, said the reporter is also being investigated for “violating official secret act, cyber crime act and the penal code law”.
Ogundipe was arrested on August 14 and detained at the force headquarters.
Moshood said less than 24 hours after his arrest, the reporter was arraigned in a court of “competent jurisdiction” in the federal capital territory (FCT).
“The force is categorically stating that one Samuel Ogundipe is being investigated and prosecuted for the offences of theft and unlawful possession of restricted and classified documents inimical to state/national security that can jeopardise peace, breakdown of law and order capable of precipitating crisis in the country,” the statement read.
“Samuel Ogundipe is also being investigated and prosecuted under other offences which violate official secret act, cyber crime act, and the penal code law for which he has volunteered statements and is standing trial.
“It is factual to state that Samuel Ogundipe was arrested on the 14th of August, 2018 and on completion of preliminary investigation, he was arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction in the FCT in less than twenty four (24) hours of his arrest. He was remanded to police custody and the case was adjourned to Monday, 20th August, 2018.
“The Nigeria Police Force as a law abiding organization will continue to ensure that the rule of law and its supremacy which are essentials of democracy prevails at all times.
“However, individual(s) or group(s) who violates the law must be brought to justice, the force will also ensure that all Nigerians irrespective of profession, practice or carrier are subject to the same law, and therefore wishes to impress it on the media to encourage prosecution of all offenders upon whom a prima facie case has been established. Every concerned group(s) or interested person(s) should be aware that the matter is in court and the due process of law is being followed.”
There has been an outrage over the detention of Ogundipe. Civil society groups, human rights advocates, media organisations have asked the police to release the journalist immediately.