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NUJ demands apology from Police over unlawful arrest of members in Delta

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Warri Correspondents’ Chapel on Wednesday issued the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Squad a twenty-four-hour ultimatum to tender an unreserved apology to the Union and four of its members who were unlawfully arrested on Tuesday.

The NUJ handed down the ultimatum after it returned from the Area Command’s Office in Warri, where the five arrested journalist were asked to report to after they were released.

The NUJ threatened to file a fundamental rights action against the Police if it failed to tender the apology within the next twenty-four hours.

The NUJ said they would file the action because the rights of its members were infringed upon and their privacies invaded.

The Delta State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu said “for us in Delta State NUJ, we are very concerned about the unprofessional display of these so-called policemen from the IGP.”

Comrade Ikeogwu was represented by Comrade Felix Ekwu, an ex-officio 1, of the State NUJ at the Warri Area Command Wednesday.

For the fourth estate of the realm who more or less speak for the members of the society to be so harassed and intimidated like this, it shows the extent to which this country has deteriorated to; nobody is safe.

“So we urge the Police authority to investigate the matter. We smell foul play in the actions carried out by these Policemen.

“From interactions at the Area Command, it appears that the supposed policemen are ghosts, and appear not to have left traces.

The Chairman of the NUJ, Warri Correspondent Chapel, Comrade Okiees Veeky, who spoke to newsmen at the Warri Area Command, condemned the invasion of its Press Centre, Warri by the IGP’s Squad.

“With all due respect, we the members of the NUJ, Warri Correspondents’ chapel, are disappointed at the actions of the so-called policemen who picked up our members unlawfully because up till this moment, we do not know why they were picked up.

“If not for the intervention of the Commissioner of Police and some of our friends, we won’t be saying this now.

“We condemn in very strong terms the activities of the so-called Police who claim they are from the IGP’s office. We have been here waiting for them. They asked us to come in at 10am. We mobilized here at 10am, it is more than two hours. They are nowhere to be found.

“It is on record now that they have escaped from their duties. We are calling on the appropriate authorities, especially the IGP to call his men to order, allow journalists to do their work. Stop this harassment of our members. We will not take it lightly. From now on, we will release all the arsenals at our disposal to show that we are unhappy with the actions.”

Five Warri journalists were on Tuesday arrested by detectives suspected to be from the office of the Inspector General of Police.

They were released after the detectives obtained statements from them and a bail bond of N1 million.

The unidentified detectives had stormed the Press Centre of the Warri Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to arrest the Correspondent of Daily Post Online, Matthew Omonigho.

Other journalists who were arrested alongside Omonigho were Edeki Egafe of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); Francis Sadhere of BusinessDay;  Onyekachukwu Meluwa of the Punch, and  Christopher Odamah, a freelancer.

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