Nigeria: #OsunDecides2018 - Premium Times Journalist Arrested, Released

Voting taking place in Oshogbo - Osun State
27 September 2018

Kemi Busari, a journalist covering the ongoing Osun rerun election, was briefly arrested by the police on Thursday morning.

Mr Busari was arrested for taking pictures at Polling Unit one, Ward 8, Orolu Local Government Area.

The polling unit is located at Kajola Community Primary School.

Mr Busari is one of the accredited observers deployed for the election in partnership with the Centre for Democracy and Development.

Arriving at the polling unit at about 7.40a.m., the journalist thought it fit to capture the voting process, but this landed him in police net.

He was arrested and dragged to the leader of the police delegation, with the name tag S. Abubakar.

Mr Abubakar ordered that the journalist, who wore the appropriate observer tag and apron, be arrested.

Promptly, one of his subordinates grabbed the journalist by his trouser and dragged him to a stationed police vehicle with the inscription 'police skynet squad.'

The gun-wielding officer, Abdul Usman, confiscated all his gadgets and locked him in the vehicle.

It later took the intervention of Mr Abubakar to get this journalist released.

"We release you because you are a press man. Let him go. He's a PREMIUM journalist. We don't want any problem here.

"You are a journalist you are supposed to know. No camera is allowed here," Mr Abubakar said.

The police officer's stance contradicts the statement of the electoral commission, INEC, which explained that voters and participants where allowed to go with their phones to polling units but not polling booths after ballot paper must have been issued to an accredited voter.

Mr Busari was released with the instruction that he should not dare "snap pictures in the polling unit."

Same instruction was given to other observers present.

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