The police have come under pressure to release Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times reporter, who was arrested and detained on Tuesday.
According to the newspaper, Ogundipe was arrested over a story on the report Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), submitted to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over the blockade of the national assembly.
Idris submitted the report after the sack of Lawal Daura, former director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The IGP had requested that the force be given the permission to search the residences of all the suspects involved in the national assembly blockade, including Daura.
Irked by the leak of the story, the IGP was said to have ordered the arrest of Premium Times journalists.
Also arrested were Musikilu Mojeed, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, and Azeezat Adedigba, an education correspondent who was later released.
The newspaper said the police have been pressurising Ogundipe to disclose the source of the story.
It also reported that the police had placed a restriction on the bank account of Ogundipe.
The action of the police sparked an outrage on social media, with activists and civil society groups calling for his immediate release.
#FreeSamuelOgundipe is currently trending on social media. Below are some Twitter reactions:
The authorities @ProfOsinbajo @PoliceNG should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Samuel Ogundipe @PremiumTimesng detained simply for doing his job.#FreeSamuelOgundipe@UNHumanRights @UN_SPExperts @davidakaye https://t.co/MrHSNJyKCQ
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) August 14, 2018
Amnesty International Nigeria also said the police should release Ogundipe as journalism is not a crime and coercing a journalist to reveal his sources is a gross violation.
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) August 14, 2018
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) West Africa, one of Africa’s leading think tanks, condemned the harassment and detention of the journalists which it described as an attack on press freedom and liberty. The organisation also said the act was aimed at covering the truth which journalists seek to uncover.
We condemn in strong terms d arrest & detention of @SamuelOgundipe, & the brief detention & harassment of @Musikilu & Ms. Adedigba. This act is aimed to cover d truth, which journalist seeks to uncover. The continuous attack on #PressFreedom freedom & liberty is one too much.
— CDD West Africa (@CDDWestAfrica) August 14, 2018
Enough is Enough Nigeria. a civic group, said the attest of Ogundipe is unlawful and has no place in democracy.
— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) August 14, 2018
With the arrest of Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, by the Police for refusing to disclose the source of his story, I think Acting President @ProfOsinbajo should begin his task of overhauling a unit of the Police with removal of this insubordinate IG.#FreeSamuelOgundipe pic.twitter.com/Zvq7ghczN1
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) August 14, 2018
Asking a Journalist to divulge his sources is like demanding that a member of the Presidency violate his executive privilege. This is absurd, horrendous, inhumane and nothing short of evil. One moment U’re showing understanding and the next moment U do this?! #FreeSamuelOgundipe
— SEGA L’éveilleur®🚨 (@segalink) August 14, 2018
— EDWARD Israel-Ayide (@wildeyeq) August 14, 2018
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) August 14, 2018
It is a BIG SHAME that our colleagues remain under attack in what should be a democracy. An attack on one is an attack on all, so let us raise our voices because #FreeSamuelOgundipe may be #FreeYouAndMe tomorrow!
— Ruona J. Meyer (@RGAMeyer) August 14, 2018