CPJ demands release of editor abducted by Akwa Ibom govt

Akwa Ibom Governor, Godswill Akpabio

There has been widespread condemnations over the arrest and secret arraignment of Mr. Thomas.


The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, said on Friday that it holds the Akwa Ibom State government responsible for the safety of the Editor of Global Concord, Thomas Thomas, who was arrested in Uyo since Tuesday.

Mr. Thomas, the editor of the thrice-weekly newspaper, was seized by three plain clothed men suspected to be government security operatives. He was taken away in handcuffs.

Though the security agencies in the state initially denied knowledge about the whereabouts of the editor, he was later arraigned secretly on Thursday before a Magistrate Court in Uyo on a three count charge.

The charge sheet signed by the State Director of Public Prosecution, Usen Usen, accused Mr. Thomas, of using his medium to commit acts purportedly contravening the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009.

But, an Uyo-based lawyer, Ehpraim Eshiet, faulted the government for charging the Editor under the provision of Section 6(1)(e)(d) and (f) as well as Section 6(2) of the Akwa Ibom State Internal Security and Enforcement Law 2009, which was enacted specifically to help tackle the menace of kidnapping in the state.

“It is not clear where kidnapping was involved in the offence the Editor was accused of committing,” Mr. Eshiet said. “The least law the government should have thought about should have been the Law of Sedition. Even that has since been overtaken by the Freedom of Information, FOI, law.”

He said what the government was trying to do is harass Mr. Thomas, by keeping him in prison, with the expectation that he would be psychologically broken.

Having charged and arraigned him in court, he said the least the government should do, is either release him on bail or try him and set him free expeditiously.

CPJ condemned the treatment meted out to Mr. Thomas and asked the Nigerian authorities to guarantee his safety.

“CPJ is alarmed by the seizure of Thomas Thomas and calls on Nigerian authorities to do all they can to ensure his safety and well-being,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator, Sue Valentine from Cape Town, South Africa.

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.