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Thursday, 23 April 2020

Arrest Of Vanguard Reporter In Ebonyi State Unacceptable And Condemnable - IPC

The International Press Centre IPC Lagos says the arrest of Vanguard Correspondent in Ebonyi State, Mr. Peter Okutu, reportedly on the orders of a local government Chairman in the state, is another unbecoming act of executive lawlessness.

The IPC says by ordering security operatives to arrest the journalist, the concerned Chairman of Ohaukwu Local Government Council of the state, Mr. Clement Odah, violated the right of Mr. Okutu to self dignity and violently assaulted press freedom in the process.

IPC through a statement by its Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade reiterated that any body or institution that feels aggrieved about a story should either exercise the right of reply or seek redress legally and not embark on extra judicial self-help.

Arogundade said arresting a journalist and getting him detained over a story is not an acceptable means of seeking such redress and the act of Mr. Odah is unacceptable.

The IPC therefore condemned the action and demanded the immediate release of Mr. Okutu.

Coming after the arrest and detention of The Sun newspaper reporter, Agwu Chijioke, on the orders of the State Governor, David Umahi, who also featured prominently in the order of Mr. Okutu, the IPC said it is worried that the state government is fast becoming notorious for its serial violation of the rights of journalists.

It reminded the state government that such attacks on journalists over the performance of their legitimate duty are antithetical to democratic norms and values.

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