Nigeria Online Publishers condemn arrest of Elombah journalists
London, Jan. 2, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), Nigeria’s premier association of digital/new media publishers, has condemned the brazen arrest of the duo of Daniel Elombah and Tim Elombah, the Publisher and Editor respectively, of a United Kingdom-based online news website, Elombah.com by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria Police Force on “Orders from Above.”
Austyn Ogannah, President, Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN who made the condemnation in a statement said, though the police has declined to publicly state why the journalists were brutalized and arrested in the wee hours of New Year’s Day in their family home in Nnewi, Anambra State.
He however said, “independent finding shows that the arrest was premised on an opinion article titled ” IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies” written by Eboiwei Dickson, that was published on the website as well as dozens of other sites, which the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris found offensive”.
The statement reads inter alia: “OPAN views the assault on Elombah.com journalists as part of a sustained plot by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to intimidate and suppress press freedom.
“We wish to remind this administration that we are in a democratic dispensation. The practice of using security agencies to harass journalists, especially those operating in the digital media must STOP.
“We implore this administration to respect free speech and protect the fundamental rights of citizens, whilst also urging the judicial arm of government not to allow its judges and courts become a tool in the hands of dictators and oppressors, to legitimise their abuse and violation of human rights”.