Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Civil Societies To Protest Arrest Of Journalists By DSS In Abuja

A civil society organisation, OurMumuDonDo Movement, has vowed to occupy the office of Department of State Services, DSS on Wednesday if the Abuja Bureau Chief of the Daily Independent Newspaper, Tony Ezimakor, who is currently under the detention of the service is not released unconditionally.

The group in a statement made available to journalists on Monday called on all members of the local and international media to attend the peaceful protest aimed at drawing attention to the increasing incidents of unlawful harassment of the press and the unlawful detention of Nigerians in violation of their constitutional rights by the present administration.

The press statement was jointly signed by Charles Oputa (OurMumuDonDo), Deji Adeyanju (Concerned Nigerians), Ariyo Dare Atoye (Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy) and Bako Abdul Usman (Campaign for Democracy).

“Following the continued detention of Mr. Anthony Ezimakor, the Abuja Bureau Chief of the Daily Independent Newspaper by the Directorate of State Service (DSS), and the continued disregard for his rights to freedom of speech, right to dignity of the human person, and right to fair hearing as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we have decided to occupy the DSS Headquarters in Maitama by 9:00am on Wednesday March 7, 2018.

“The decision to occupy the DSS office was made in a bid to prevent Mr. Ezimakor from suffering the same fate as Sheik Ibrahim Elzakzaky who has been detained illegally at the DSS facility for more than two years.

“We reemphasize our demand for the unconditional release of Mr. Ezimakor by the DSS. In the alternative, we demand that the Federal Government charges him to court as stipulated in the Constitution and give him the opportunity to defend himself,” the statement reads.

The Abuja-based journalist is being held purportedly over exclusive stories on Boko Haram campaign and negotiations with the insurgents by the federal government.

Ezimakor, who has been in DSS’s detention for over five days without charge, is said to be treating hypertension and ulcer and this has reportedly made his family worried.

 

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