Nigeria: Developing Story - Nigerian Police Detain Premium Times Journalist, Ask Him to Disclose His Source

Premium Times reporter Samuel Ogundipe

On the day the Nigerian presidency was complaining about the excesses of a unit in the police, the same unit was forcing a PREMIUM TIMES journalist to disclose his source.

The Nigerian police, through the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Tuesday arrested and detained Samuel Ogundipe, who covers the security sector.

Apart from Mr Ogundipe, this newspaper's editor-in-chief, Musikilu Mojeed, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly detained and manhandled by the police at the SARS headquarters in Abuja.

Ms Adedigba was later released after about three hours of detention.

Mr Mojeed and Mr Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters where Mr Ogundipe was made to write a statement.

At the Force headquarters, a DCP at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard directing lawyers to "rush to court" to obtain a warrant to detain Mr Ogundipe.

They repeatedly asked the journalist to disclose his source for a story published by this newspaper.

The story, also published by other media, revealed a letter written by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on last week's siege to the National Assembly by security officials.

When Mr Mojeed alerted the DCP that it was wrong compelling a journalist to disclose a source of information, the police officer became furious threatening the journalist.

"He said the police was acting within the law and that Samuel would remain detained unless he discloses those who gave him the document," the journalist said.

Officials at the police headquarters told PREMIUM TIMES that the directive to detain the journalist came directly from the Inspector General of Police who is said to be angry at this paper's critical reporting of his activities.

More details later...

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