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NUJ Issues 24-Hour Ultimatum To IGP To Tender Unreserved Apopogy To Its Members Over Unlawful Arrest, Detention

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-Threatens Legal Action If……

Christopher Odamah, Warri

The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Warri Correspondents’ Chapel, today issued a twenty-four hours ultimatum to the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Squad to tender an unreserved apology to the Union and five of its members who were unlawfully arrested and detained.

The Union also threatened to file a fundamental rights action against the police if it fails to tender an apology within the next twenty-four hours.

In an interview with newsmen at the Area Command’s Office in Warri, Delta State, the NUJ Warri Chairman, Comrade Okies Veeky, condemned the invasion of its Press Centre by the IGP’s Squad in the strongest terms possible.

The NUJ said they will file the action because the rights of its members who are Edeki Igafe (NAN), Matthew Omonigho (Daily Post), Francis Sadhere (Business Day), Christopher Odamah (Delta Trumpet) and Kelvin Meluwa (Punch) were infringed upon and their privacies invaded.

“With all due respect, we the members of the NUJ, Warri Correspondents’ chapel are disappointed at the actions of the so-called policemen who came to the Press Centre to pick up our members unlawfully because up till this moment, we do not know why they were arrested and molested,” he queried.

He said: “If not for the intervention of the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Hafiz Mohammed Inuwa and some of our friends, we won’t be saying this now.”

According to him, “We condemn in very strong terms the activities of the so-called policemen who claim they are from the IGP’s office. We have been here waiting for them. They asked us to come in at 10am. We mobilized here at 10am, it is more than two hours. They are nowhere to be found.”

“It is on record now that they have escaped from their duties. We are calling on the appropriate authorities, especially the IGP to call his men to order, allow journalists to do their work and stop this harassment of our members. We will not take it likely. From now on, we will release all the arsenals at our disposal to show that we are unhappy with the actions.”

Reacting, the Delta State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu, said, “for us in Delta State NUJ, we are very concerned about the unprofessional display of these so-called policemen from the IGP office.”

Comrade Ikeogwu was represented by Comrade Felix Ekwu, State NUJ ex-officio 1.

He said, “For the fourth estate of the realm who more or less speak for the members of the society to be so harassed and intimidated like this, it shows the extent to which this country has deteriorated to; nobody is safe.

“So we urge the police authority to investigate the matter. We smell foul play in the actions carried out by these policemen.”

In his words, “From interactions at the Area Command, it appears that the supposed policemen are ghosts, and appear not to have left traces.”

According to Matthew Omonigho, he was at the Press Centre when he received a call from one of the officers and on stepping outside, was seized and assaulted by same officer, a situation which left his trousers torn and his belt cut.

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