Access to justice condemns arrest, harassment of journalists

Dapo Olorunyomi

Dapo Olorunyomi

A non-governmental Organisation, Access to Justice has denounced the arrest and harassment of Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, alongside its judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu by the Nigerian Police.

The group disclosed this in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. Joseph Otteh, saying: “The harassment of the media is a throwback to the dark days of military autocracy when the press were constant victims and casualties of military repression and dictatorship.”

According to him, more than 18 years after the transition to civil rule in Nigeria, Nigeria should be done with the repression of free speech.

Otteh therefore said the Nigerian police should not use, or lend its powers to be used to intimidate those engaged in providing critical information to the people; neither should it obstruct free communication of information or exchange of ideas in a democratic country.

He noted that the media has a uniquely significant role in keeping those who exercise power accountable for their actions or omissions.

The group welcomed the release of those arrested, but demanded that ‘the Buhari government ends this interference with the freedom of the Press. ‘

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