Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President of the Senate, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, has called for the unconditional release of the detained Premium Times journalist, Mr Samuel Ogundipe.
Olaniyonu in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday said he aligns with other journalists to frown at the continued incarceration of Ogundipe.
“I want the world to know that I, and my colleagues in this profession will continue to stand alongside Samuel Ogundipe. We will continue to speak up for him and demand his immediate and unconditional release. We will also continue to demand that due process must be followed and freedom of speech and that of the press must be protected,” he said.
According to him, the continued illegal detention of Ogundipe, is an affront on the fourth estate of the realm and an assault on freedom of the press, freedom of speech and due process.
Olaniyonu, a former Editor and Editorial Board Chairman, THISDAY Newspaper, reiterated that freedom of speech and due process must be adhered to in Ogundipe’s case, stating that journalists must be free to practice their profession without fear of intimidation by security forces.
“As a journalist and media professional, I find it preposterous that Mr. Ogundipe has been held without recourse to due process for more than 48hours,” Olaniyonu said. “This is a democracy and even when it hurts, journalists must be free to write their truthful stories and protect their sources without the fear of being picked up and tried secretly.
“It is a settled issue in our jurisprudence that a journalist cannot be compelled to disclose the source of his or her information. In cases like Tony Momoh versus Senate, Ray Ekpu Vs IGP and many others, our courts have decided that the journalist cannot be compelled to reveal the source of his story.