Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI), a civil society group, has condemned the arrest of Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times reporter.
In a statement signed by Remi Adebayo, president of ALBNI, the group said Ogundipe cannot be forced by the police to disclose the source of a factual story.
On Tuesday, operatives of the special tactical squad (STS) arrested Ogundipe over a report based on a letter written by Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
The letter was linked to the detention of Lawal Daura, sacked director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS).
ALBNI said Ogundipe’s arrest is reminiscent of the “dark days of the military junta, which disregarded and disrespected all notions of a free society”.
The group said: “It a well known fact that, journalism as being practised globally, has its set of ethics and one of them is non-disclosure of a source of a factual story.
“If the reporter arrested had written and filed a fake story, that would have been a different ball game as he would be made to face the wrath of the law but in this case, he wrote a factual story which the concerned authorities have not denied.
“Therefore, his arrest and detention by the police are condemnable and uncalled for since he did not violate any law of the land and we demand that he be released immediately without any condition.
“We are constrained to say that if authorities are embarrassed by the leak of the sensitive documents or communication, they should rather do an in-house check instead of harassing an outsider whose profession requires him or her to dig deep and not bound to disclose his or her source.”