Nigerian activists, civil society leaders and journalists have started a protest at the police headquarters in Abuja, demanding the release of detained PREMIUM TIMES reporter, Samuel Ogundipe.
The demonstration is led by the #TakebackNigeriaMovement and the #OurMumuDonDo, and is holding in front of the police’s Louis Edet House.
The leaders of the two groups, Omoyele Sowore, a presidential aspirant and publisher of Sahara Reporters, and Charles Oputa, are at the venue of the protest.
Police have already deployed officers to check the protesters, forming a shield to limit them.
Mr Ogundipe, who covers the security beat for PREMIUM TIMES, was arrested on Tuesday by the police and secretly arraigned at a magistrate court in Abuja on Wednesday.
The police are asking Mr Ogundipe to disclose his source for a story, a demand that goes contrary to ethical journalism.
Mr Ogundipe was arraigned without access to a lawyer.
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Musikilu Mojeed, and education reporter, Azeezat Adedigba, were also briefly held by the police’s notorious anti-robbery unit, SARS.
The arrests have sparked global condemnation with calls for Mr Ogundipe’s immediate release.
Local and international groups, including Amnesty International, have slammed the Buhari administration’s attempt to intimidate and muzzle the press and have asked acting President Yemi Osinbajo to intervene.
The administration has maintained silence despite the clampdown happening on the same day Mr Osinbajo ordered an overhaul of the SARS.
On Wednesday, police spokesman Jimoh Moshood claimed he was not aware of the details of Mr Ogundipe’s detention.
More details coming….