The Department of State Services (DSS), has released Bayelsa-based journalist and publisher of the Weekly Source Magazine, Mr. Jones Abiri, who had been in detention for over two years.
Abiri was arrested at his office in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on July 21, 2016, over an alleged link to armed militancy in the Niger Delta region.
Although he denied the allegation, he was initially granted bail in the sum of N2million and two sureties who must be civil servants not lower than level 12.
Following public outcry, however, Abiri was eventually charged with the offence on July 27, 2018, at the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Wuse Zone 2 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Last week, the court reviewed the journalist’s bail conditions, following an application by his lawyer who said they were too stringent for his client.
Meanwhile, Nigerians across the country have condemned the latest arrest and detention of Samuel Ogundipe of Premium Times.
A coalition of civil society groups, #OurMumuDondo, yesterday, stormed the Force Headquarters, Abuja, to demand the release of detained Premiums Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe.
Led by popular musician, Charlie Boy, the protesters insisted on the release of the reporter, noting that they would not leave until he is freed.
The activists briefly barricaded the Shehu Shagari Way, forcing motorists to ply alternative routes.
Presidential aspirant, Omoyele Sowore, berated the Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris, for pressurising Ogundipe to disclose his source.
Another activist, Ralph Adebayo, described the IG as “ignorant,” noting that “he has been transmitting confusion since he became the Police boss, stumbling from one controversy to another.”
Also, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), international rights group, Amnesty International (AI), the International Press Centre (IPC) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA), yesterday, demanded the immediate release of Ogundipe.
In separate petitions to the Acting President, Prof YemiOsinbajo and Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Ibrahim Idris, they demanded that Ogundipe’s personal bank account be unfrozen by the police.
A political party, Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), also condemned detention and also demanded “the immediate and unconditional release of Premium Times journalist”.
Premium Times Security Sector Reporter, Ogundipe, its Editor-In-chief, Mr MuskiluMojeed and the Education Reporter, Ms. AzeezatAdedigba were arrested by the police anti-robbery squad last Tuesday.
The arrest followed Ogundipe’s refusal to disclose the source of a story published on the online newspaper.
The story contained a report by the IGP, to the Acting President on the siege on the National Assembly by the State Security Service.
While Mojeed and Adedigba were released shortly afterwards, Ogundipe was still being held at press time yesterday.
The NUJ’s August 15 letter signed by its National President, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, accused the IGP of hounding the press and urged the Acting President to call him to order.
He said: “I write this petition on behalf of thousands of Nigerian journalists, against the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, over his incessant attacks on journalists and violent violations of their human rights, culminating in Tuesday’s arrest of a Premium Times reporter, Mr Samuel Ogundipe.
“The journalist is being held to disclose his source of information, a demand that is against the ethical precepts of our profession.”
The NUJ recalled the abduction and detention of two journalists who are brothers, Daniel and IzuchukwuElomba as well as the abduction of the National Assembly correspondent of Daily Trust, AbdulahiKrishi, by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
It added: “It is obvious that the excesses of the IGP against the media is giving your government a bad image as an anti- press government, even when it’s obvious these infractions were carried out without The Presidency’s imprimatur.
“We therefore implore Your Excellency to call the Inspector-General to order and stop his incessant attacks on the media.”
Amnesty International tasked the police to “immediately and unconditionally release journalist Samuel Ogundipe, who has been in unlawful police detention since last Tuesday.
‘IAUE’s Post Graduate School’ll Be A Class Of Its Own’
On completion of the Post Graduate School Complex of Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE), Rumuolumeni, the complex will be in a class of its own in Nigeria.
Making this Known recently, during the colloquium held in honour of late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma, at the auditorium of the university, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele, said the facilities at the graduate school are all state-of-the art.
“The Postgraduate school is where we are working very hard to make a difference. We are just three years old, but we have dwarfed and overtaken most of the older Universities around us in postgraduate studies.
“Whereas most of the universities around us have no separate classrooms for graduate programmes, we have built 16 new postgraduate classrooms fitted with modern, Wi-Fi, air- conditioners, and small boards, all within the three years of our administration”, he said.
He continued that “When the complex is ready, our postgraduate school will pride as the best accommodated and the most well equipped in Nigeria in terms of infrastructure”. Prof. Ndimele used the occasion to thank the Aguma family for contributing a 10 lecture halls building to the graduate school in their pursuit of academic excellence.
“ It is gratifying to note that today’s ceremony is in two phases: The first phase is what we are doing now, that is the colloquium, where experts and close associates of the late Chief Emmanuel W. Aguma have been assembled to present on the life and times of the legend himself and much more.
“The second phase of today’s event is the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed Chief Emmanuel Aguma Post Graduate Complex, comprising 10 lecture halls, a language laboratory and offices at the New Haven Layout of the main campus.
“All these are courtesy of the Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma’s family to further immortalise their son, husband and father. We cannot thank the family enough”, he said.
In his presentation, as one of the guest speakers at the colloquium, Chief Emmanuel Aguma delved into the life and times of the Late Aguma from the political perspective.
The life and times and achievement of Sir Aguma is no doubt very important references to the younger generation.
“I have taken pains to go through all these for younger generation to know that here in Rebisi, God Almighty had created a rare human being who realised that mandate of a people is a sacred commission to serve with honour, integrity and truth”, he stated.
Late Chief Emmanuel Aguma was the first provost of the College of Education, which metamorphosed into Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
RATTAWU Wants Regularisation Of Casual Workers’ Appointment In S’ South
The South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU, Comrade Christian Saro Gonole, has called for the regularisation of the appointment of all casual workers in the services of state owned media and cultural outfits across the South-South Zone.
South-South National Vice President of RATTAWU Comrade Christian Saro Gonole made the call at the 8th Triennial Delta State Delegates Conference of the Union in Asaba.
Comrade Christain Saro Gonole who described the continuous casualisation of its members as a direct rape on the right of employment called for the understanding of respective state Governments in the South-South Zone in the regularisation of the casual workers with dispatch.
The South-South RATTAWU leader said the engagement of a casual worker more than three months tantamount to the denial of the affected worker of his right to gainful employment and violates extant labour laws.
Insecurity, Killings In Nigeria, Worrisome -Catholic Bishop
The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev Paulinus Ezeokafor, has decried the spate of killings across the country.
The Bishop made a call for the establishment of local and state security organs to tackle security challenges in all parts of the country.
Bishop Ezeokafor made the call in a homily he delivered recently, during the burial Mass of late Mrs Rebecca Mgboye Amatu (mother of the Catholic Bishop of Okigwe Diocese, Most Rev Solomon Amatu), at St Simon’s Catholic Church, Ukpo, Anambra State.
He said there was urgent need for local security apparatus in all the six regions and the 36 states of Nigeria in order to augment the federal security.
He said, “We regret the recent murder of the former chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr Lawan Andimi, by suspected terrorists. We regret that the sacredness of human life had been ridiculed in this country.”
“The manner in which Mr Andimi was butchered is inhuman. The sacredness of the human life had been desecrated. Human beings are being slaughtered regularly by terrorists who are suspected to have targeted the Christians. Security of life and property can no longer be guaranteed in Nigeria. Worse still is that the Federal Government has not been able to address the menace of insecurity,” the bishop stated.
He said the Federal Government ought to support the local security apparatus like Amotekun instituted by governors of the West so as to ensure that optimum security was maintained. This was even as he called for effective local security system in other regions of Nigeria.
Bishop Ezeokafor recalled how two priests of the Catholic Diocese of Awka were kidnapped in Ondo State and were rescued, using the Anambra State Government’s security apparatus,.
He praised Anambra as being relatively safe, compared to other states of the federation.
He commended Gov Obiano of Anambra State and stressed the need for such good security network to be replicated in other states of Nigeria.
The Catholic prelate called on the government at all levels to provide enabling environment for security of life and property, as well as the necessary amenities the masses needed to enjoy their lives.
He said any government that was unable to better the lives of its citizens should surrender governance.
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