Human Interest

Online Publishers Condemn Detention of Journalist, Demands Immediate Release

Media watch

Online publishers, consisting of too managers of news websites in Nigeria have condemned the detention of the publisher of 247ureports.com, Mr Ikenna Ezenekwe.

Ezenekwe was picked up by operatives of the police force in Abuja on the instance of the former Chief if staff to former Anambra State governor, Chief Primus Odili, and has remained in detention without being charged to court.

A release by the group, which was made available to THE RAZOR NEWS, and which was signed by the president and general secretary of the group, Austyn Ogannah and Daniel Elombah respectively condemned the impunity of the police in keeping Ezenekwe.

The full release reads…

OPAN Calls For Immediate Release Of Journalist Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe

The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), the flagship organization for digital news publishers demands the immediate release of the publisher of 247ureports.com, Mr Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe who was picked up by the Nigerian police at the FCT-Abuja on the morning of July 5, 2021 over an article published on the website.

Since his arrest by men from the IGP monitoring team, he has remained in incarceration and has not been charged to court. This is unlawful and an infringement of his fundamental rights.

Although the Police never formally invited him, he was immediately arrested and taken to the national police headquarters in Asokoro where he was interrogated in the absence of his lawyer.

A former chief of staff to the former governor of Anambra, Willie Obiano, Chief Primus Odili, who recently failed in his senatorial bid on the platform of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), petitioned the IGP monitoring team to arrest and detain Mr. Ezenekwe claiming the article on him was libelous.

OPAN gathered authoritatively that Chief Odili has tasked the IGP monitoring team to unmask the source of the article, which Ezeneke has declined to identify citing confidentiality and privilege between journalists and news sources.

We find it disturbing and unacceptable that the police could allow a citizen to use it to intimidate a journalist.

The police have continued to intimidate and coerce Ezenekwe demanding to know the source of his story. This is wrong. Is the police above the laws of the land?

OPAN hereby calls on the police to immediately release Mr. Ezenekwe and apologise to him for his unlawful incarceration.

Signed:

 

Austyn Ogannah

President

 

Daniel Elombah

General-Secretary

Ifeizu

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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