The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to order the immediate release of Samuel Ogundipe, a security correspondent with Premium Times.
“The Coalition would want to stress that the law is clear on the illegality of the Police Force and other institutions of government to demand source disclosure from a journalist.
“Critical reporting is a statutory duty for journalists who on account of Section 22 of the 1999 constitution are enjoined to hold government accountable.”
The coalition said it was aware of the “The Freedom of Information Act, 2011 a federal law which protects confidentiality of sources and the Court of Appeal decision in Tony Momoh vs National Assembly which criminalises the demand of journalists sources by the Police or any other institution of government.”
“The Coalition stresses that as the Inspector General should respect the rule of law and the Constitution to uphold the mandate of the Police Force as an institution that fiercely fights for the protection of basic human rights of its citizens, whistleblowers and press freedom in Nigeria
“As a Coalition, we frown at any abuse of the law to jeopardize the safety of journalists in Nigeria. Too many journalists are imprisoned for the wrong reasons. Too many journalists are harassed for speaking out against certain government policies.”
“The Coalition will not hesitate to take legal action against the Inspector General if Samuel Ogundipe is not released and allowed to join his colleagues and family.”