On Friday morning, the 17th of August 2018, Samuel Ogundipe, a Nigerian journalist detained since Tuesday the 14th of August was finally released after he met his bail conditions.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) is relieved with the release of Samuel Ogundipe and the opportunity for him to reunite with his family, colleagues and the general public. However, we would like to bring it to your attention that Samuel Ogundipe should have never been arrested and kept in custody without contact with his lawyers.
The Coalition is happy that a part of the constitution has been respected but we call for the justice system to sanction the IG of police for his violation of the Nigerian constitution. The constitution also declares in chapter II section 39 subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution; Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference. When the Nigerian Police coerced Samuel Ogundipe to reveal his sources they violated an essential part of the constitution.
The arrest of Samuel is unlawful, unwarranted and unjustifiable, and we, therefore, urge that all charges against him be dropped. In line with Section 35(6) of the constitution. We also hereby call on the government to make a public apology and pay him a compensation for the unwarranted violation of his rights, the damage to his business and losses arising therefrom, the disruption of his life, the physical and psychological trauma to which he has been subjected.
The coalition would like to bring to the attention of the general public to the importance of a free press in any democracy so that it may function and fulfil its constitutional duties. The coalition calls on the government to protect the press and not let its oppressors thrive in impunity.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom4