Critics of arrest say it contradicts Acting President’s position on police reforms
By Akpo Ometan
The clamour for the release of the detained Premium Times reporter, Mr. Samuel Ogundipe heightened on Wednesday with more individuals and groups lambasting the Nigeria Police Force over his arrest.
Critics of his arrest also say that the action contradicts Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo’s position on Police reforms as evidenced in his Tuesday order for the immediate overhaul of the controversial Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.
Incidentally, Ogundipe is alleged to have been initially arrested by the same outfit.
In responding to widespread outrage over the operations of SARS, Osinbajo had specifically outlined that henceforth the reformed squad should restrict itself to intelligence gathering and specific issues relating to armed robbery and violent crime. The interdiction of journalists over stories they have sourced and published on their news media observers say, clearly do not fit within this remit.
Among others, calls for his immediate release have been made byGov. Dankwambo, Senator Shehu Sani, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Amnesty International and the International Press Centre.
Meanwhile, the police has reportedly arraigned Ogundipe on a charge of stealing even as he is yet to be permitted access to his lawyers.