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Media Bodies, CSOs Demand Investigation into Segun Olatunji’s Detention and Prosecution of Perpetrators

Media organizations, associations and professional bodies including civil society organizations have expressed concern and strong condemnation for the recent unlawful arrest, detention, brutalization and torture of Mr. Segun Olatunji, Editor of FirstNews newspapers, by military personnel over stories published by the media outlet.
In a statement jointly signed by President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria and President, Nigerian Press Organisations, Mallam Kadiri Yusuf, Executive Secretary, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria , Doctor Yemisi Bamgbose, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba, National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Comrade Chris Isiguzo, President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, Maureen Chigbo, President, International Press Institute, Nigeria Chapter, Musikilu Mojeed,
Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda, Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, International Press Centre, Lanre Arogundade, and Director Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project , SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni demand a speedy, public, transparent and independent investigation into the case as well as the brazen disregard for the Constitution and the Government’s obligations under relevant domestic laws and international instruments.

The statement explains that all persons within and outside the military who are found to have been connected with this unacceptable violation of the rights of the journalist and the Constitution, including those who effected Mr. Olatunji’s arrest, detention and torture, should be prosecuted before the appropriate court and punished to the full extent of the Law.

According to the statement, military personnel invaded Mr. Olatunji’s home in a Lagos suburb on March 15, 2024, seized his mobile phone, handcuffed and bundled him into one of their vehicles and flew him to Abuja blindfolded where he was kept in an underground cell for fourteen days.

It urged the Federal Government to make an unequivocal public commitment to respect and defend the rights and freedom of journalists and other media practitioners to carry out their professional duties in a safe and conducive environment in accordance with Sections 22 and 39 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and advise all law enforcement, security, intelligence, military and other agencies accordingly.

The statement says should the Federal Government fail to respond positively to the demands within fourteen days, the media associations and professional bodies as well as civil society organizations will pursue all available mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels to ensure compliance with their demands.


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