The Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA), have condemned the arrest and prosecution of two Kwara-based journalists, Dare Akogun of Sobi FM and Abdulrasheed Akogun, fresh Insight by the Kwara State Police Command.
In a statement by the Executive Director Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA), Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye, condemned the arrest, detention and the subsequent arraignment of the journalists.
“It is a display of primitive power and repression reminiscences of the colonial administration in Nigeria during the Native Authority; when the police is known for betraying their responsibility to protect Nigerian citizens but instead preyed on them.
“One wonder how long it would take to reform the policing system in Nigeria?
Mr Otitolaye said Rather than uphold loyalty to the state, protect the rights of citizens as contained in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended), and International instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory; the Police prefers to continue to be minion to Political office holders against the citizenry.
According to him, these uncivilized attitudes have continued to shrink civic space, and has been one of the threats to democratic process and reforms in Nigeria.
The Kwara State government wanted the Journalists to retract their stories and apologise; this is hilarious and could be like end to one of James Hardley Chase title “THE QUILTY ARE AFRAID.”
He said It becomes worrisome, for the Chief Press Secretary to the governor who is a practising journalist to write the commissioner of police to arrest his colleagues over farcical, petty and Illusionary exigencies. This is sore to press freedom.
“If the citizens are silent over the subjugation of their fundamental Human Rights of expression, the Kwara State government would hang white albatrosses around their necks as a mark of victory over JUSTICE!
“We stand on the side of press freedom; and, equally in solidarity with the duo of Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun,” he added.