The Nigerian police has been accused of being dictatorial after it forcefully arrested and whisked away a journalist over his post on Facebook.
Some plain clothes policemen on Friday arrested and whisked to Abuja a journalist based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Jerry Edoho.
The journalist was identified as the Deputy Editor of Ibom Nation Newspaper, a local publication. He was arrested by the security operatives and forcibly taken to the Federal Capital over a post he allegedly put up on his Facebook page involving Dana Air.
Revealing details of the incident, human rights lawyer and activist, Inibehe Effiong wrote: “A young man by name Jerry Edoho, a Journalist and Deputy Editor of the Ibom Nation Newspaper, from Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State sighted me at the Ibom International Airport, Uyo some minutes ago and alerted me that he is being taken forcefully to Abuja by a team of plain cloth security men over a publication on Facebook.
He told me that he was tagged in a post about the recent rumoured crash of a Dana plane which was false. That upon being tagged, he made a post like several other Nigerians asking whether the crash report was true. The security men are conveying him to Abuja via a Dana flight that is scheduled to depart by 4 pm.
The security men confronted me for speaking with him “without their permission”. I retorted that Mr. Edoho is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that his right to freedom of expression cannot be taken away. This resulted in an altercation between me and the security men whose identify I cannot immediately ascertain. I understand that his arrest followed a petition by Dana Air to the Nigeria Police Force.
I am using this platform to urge both the police and the management of Dana Air to respect the fundamental rights of Mr. Edoho. He should be released on bail pending the conclusion of investigation into whatever allegations that have been made against him.
This is a democracy, not a dictatorship.”