The Nigeria Union of Journalists condemns in strong terms the continued detention of the Publisher of National Trial newspaper Abuja, INUWA BWALA by the Borno State Police Command at the instance of a top politician. It is instructive to note that INUWA BWALA had sent an SOS ( Save Our Soul) to friends that there is threat to his life in detention. We call for the immediate and unconditional realise of Bwala from this politically motivated detention.
Similarly we express strong disapproval by the way and manner in which DESMOND UTOMWEN, of Freshnews online newspaper was arrested and detained by the Police CID in Area 10 Garki 7 days ago at the instance of a serving Customs officer, Inspector Umaru Faru. Desmond was working on a story which allegedly was critical of the said officer of the customs from Zamfara State who was being investigated by Desmond for allegedly corruptly enriching himself. Desmond was released following the intervention of Police AIG Usman Shehu. We demand a thorough investigation by the customs of the alleged corruption by Umaru Faru.
Attacks like these, by prominent politicians and public office holders constitute threats to Freedom of the Press and Freedom of Expression and are a constant reminder that new threats for the media continue to manifest and these feed into the sense of impunity and encourage further violence against the media.
This new security situation increases risks to journalists’ safety at work. It also means that journalists, their organisations and employers must develop new strategies to overcome these security challenges which are aimed at muzzling Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression.
We call for an end to impunity and crimes against Journalists, while reiterating our commitment to press freedom and the pursuit of justice and protection for Journalists nationwide.
Shuaibu Usman Leman