Illegal Arrest Of Nelson Omonu Unacceptable – DICAN

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The Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Nigeria has received with shock and
disdain the illegal arrest of one of it’s members Nelson Omonu, a publisher and
staff of the Summit Post online Newspaper by the government of Katsina state.

The Association while expressing extreme disappointment at the conduct of the
state government and security operatives who were used to perpetrate the act
wholly condemns the action by the state government as its member has
committed no crime apart from being a Journalist practicing in Nigeria.

The Association while expressing extreme fear and unease when it remembers the
murder of Mr Tordue Salem, a Journalist with Vanguard newspaper in 2021 who
disappeared under mysterious circumstances only to be declared dead by the
Police after several weeks in captivity, demands the unconditional release of Mr
Omonu and calls on the Nigerian government to severely sanction all those
involved in this despicable crime against humanity.

It is on record that with data released by the reporters without borders in 2021,
Nigeria currently ranks 120 on the World Press Freedom Index out of 180 countries
ranked, a drop of five spots from its ranking in 2020.

The ranking shows that Nigeria continues to be one of the most dangerous places
to practice Journalism in West Africa and the world at large, a situation made
possible by action like these from the Katsina state government which resolves to
apply unorthodox methods of gross intimidation, illegal arrests and bullying to
silence the press in the face of glaring mis-governance and widespread insecurity in
the state.

The Association states that if Mr Omonu is not released unconditionally within the
next 24 hours, it will send petitions to the United Nations, the United States
government, the US congress, the European Union and all relevant international
partners to sanction officials of the Katsina state government and the Police
involved in this despicable act against it’s member and shameful crime against the
freedom of the Press

Mr Omonu has committed no crime except being a practicing Journalists in Nigeria
and any government official not happy with reports from his online newspaper
should approach the courts of law to test his popularity with the courts.

Besides, Nigeria is a country with laws and signatory to international conventions
on press freedom and human rights and should not be abused by self-serving
politicians who are currently benefitting from a hard fought democracy to which
the press was in the forefront of those that paid the ultimate price for freedom

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