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IPC: Continuous harassment of Lanre Arogundade by DSS violates human rights

IPC: Continuous harassment of Lanre Arogundade by DSS violates human rights
April 17
14:14 2024

The International Press Centre (IPC) says the persistent harassment of Lanre Arogundade, its executive director, is a violation of his right to freedom of movement.

In a statement on Tuesday signed by Melody Akinjiyan, its press officer, the IPC said Arogundade reported that on Thursday, he was harassed by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The centre said the executive director was billed to participate in the general meetings and conferences of the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) and the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) in Germany.

The IPC said the “harassment” has become one too many.


“Mr. Arogundade is a renowned journalist, advocate for social justice and democracy, former Chairman of the Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists and former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students. We believe these roles and positions should not warrant his unending torment by the DSS,” the statement reads.

“Mr. Arogundade additionally informed IPC management that the senior DSS official to whom he was referred threatened to bar him from traveling unless he produced his old passports, describing the request as ‘bizarre and ridiculous’.

The IPC said the “persistent harassment violates Arogundade’s right to freedom of movement while undermining basic democratic principles”.


“IPC hereby calls on the Director General of the DSS, and in particular his men and officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport to desist from further harassing Mr. Arogundade,” the statement adds.


The coalition for whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) in a statement on Wednesday, also condemned “in strong terms” the harassment of Arogundade, saying it is not only a violation of his fundamental human rights but also an attack on the freedom of the press.

“As a coalition, we believe that such acts of intimidation and harassment have no place in a democracy and stand strongly condemned,” the statement reads.


“We join the International Press Centre (IPC) to call on the Director General of the DSS, Mr. Yusuf Magaji Bichi to remove Mr Arogundade’s name from their watchlist.

“We also want him to direct DSS officials at all Nigerian International Airports to desist from further harassing Mr. Arogundade or limiting his right to free movement.”

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