By Archibong Jeremiah
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has made several recommendation to the President Muhammad Buhari in a view to ensuring that freedom of press is not gagged.
SERAP made the call in a new report launched in Lagos on Wednesday.
The report which was prepared by SERAP in conjunction with National Endowment for Democracy, according to Sahara Reporters touched on how various military and democratic office holders had tired to undermine the power of the media over the years.
The group stated that if the press was to be able to perform its roles effectively as enshrined in sections 22 and 39 of Nigeria’s 199 constitution (as amended), it must not suffer any legal impediment.
It said, “President Muhammadu Buhari must condemn all attacks on journalist and media organisations.
“He should issue a clear and public statement to all Government and security officials over any acts of intimidation, threats, harassment, and arbitrary arrests of journalists and media workers, and state that such incidents will be immediately investigated and appropriately prosecuted.
“He should publicly condemn all harassment, intimidation, and attacks on journalists, bloggers and media organisations by State Governors.”
Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State is one of such Governors referred to by SERAP.
CrossRiverWatch Managing Editor and News Editor, Archibong Jeremiah Ojanga and Jonathan Ugbal alongside Nicholas Kalu of The Nation Newspaper were arrested 5th August 2019 by the Police, Nicholas released at sharp 9:25pm while the others were detained for two nights.
The duo were arraigned on August 7, 2018 after over 49 hours in detention on charges bordering on conspiracy and unlawful assembly.
Citizen Agba Jalingo, Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and board Chairman, Association of Cross River Online Journalists was abducted from his Lagos residence on August 22nd 2019 and has since been in custody.
He was detained for 32 more days at a police black site facility with limited access to him until his arraignment on September 25, 2019 for the hearing of his bail.
Jalingo is facing charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.