• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Olatunji: NPAN, NPO, BON, others condemn militarisation of civil space

Olatunji: NPAN, NPO, BON, others condemn militarisation of civil space

…refer case to Ombudsman

The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON), and their civil society partners, have condemned the increasing militarisation of the Nigerian civil space.

The media group, in reaction to the recent abduction of Segun Olatunji, the general editor of FirstNews Newspapers, also agreed that the matter be referred to the National Media Ombudsman for adjudication.

This followed the media group’s meeting with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) on April 14, 2024, during which they made a demand on the government for accountability in respect of the abduction, torture, and detention of Olatunji by the military authorities.

According to the media group, the military during the meeting, said, “they acted to forestall a potential threat to national security and would have reported the matter to the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC) – The National Media Ombudsman – if they had been aware of its existence.”

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“After considering this disposition towards the Ombudsman, the NPO, BON and the Civil Society Partners have decided after reviewing the outcome of the April 14 meeting, to refer the matter to the Ombudsman for adjudication. The report of the Ombudsman process would be made public.

“We hope that the parties concerned will seize this opportunity to settle the matter in the interest of law, order and respect for the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution,” the media group said in a statement on Sunday.

Besides, the specific issue of Olatunji, the group, which also includes the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), specifically condemned the militarisation of the civic space, which has seen increasing use of excessive force by soldiers in matters that would have ordinarily be handled by the police.