Lagos – January 19, 2017. The Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER has called for the immediate release of the publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi. The journalist was arrested twilight on Thursday by the police. Information reaching JODER indicated that the police stormed the headquarters of Premium Times and later arrested it’s publisher.
In a statement released late night on Thursday, JODER said the arrest is a sad reminder of the gory and momentous tribulations that media practitioners had to endure under the military rule of General Ibrahim Babangida and his successor, General Sanni Abacha.
The release signed by JODER’ s Executive Director, Mr. Adewale Adeoye, urged the police to immediately release the publisher or at best charge him to court if there are perceived violations of the law. “The invasion of media houses should never happen in a democracy. Media freedom is guaranteed by the Nigerian constitution. We cannot understand why a government that is involved in installing democracy in The Gambia is in itself violating the sacred values of democracy at the home front”, Adeoye stated.
The JODER executive director said Mr. Olorunyomi had made tremendous contributions to human rights and democracy during the most difficult times in Nigeria and that the Premium Times was one of the pillars put in place to defend democratic values. “A damage has been done. Forceful entry into the premises of Premium Times is a warning signal to Nigerians that there is a tendency to return Nigeria into an ignoble past,” Adeoye noted.
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