Police Invades Delta NUJ Secretariat, Detains 5 Journalists

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By; ONYEKACHUKWU MELUWA, Warri

Five journalists were taken into custody by police in Warri, Delta State on Tuesday for yet to be disclosed reason(s).

The police stormed to the NUJ Warri Chapel and arrested one of the journalists without making known the reasons for his arrest.

For other journalists who went to the Warri Area Command to know what is happening were also arrested without knowing anything. Times fueling fear of possible clamp down on Journalists in the metropolis.

Four of the journalists are members of the Warri Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. The other, Christopher Odamah is a freelance journalist.

One of the journalist, Mr Matthew Omonigho of the Daily Post was first arrested by security operatives from the press centre in Warri at about 4:30p.m in a commando style.

The other journalists, Mr Edeki Igafe of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and Mr Francis Sadhere of Businessday, both Financial Secretary and Auditor of the chapel including Mr Kelvin Meluwa of AUTHENTIC NEWS DAILY and Christopher Odamah, a freelance journalist were also detained after they were detailed by the Chapel to check on their arrested colleague at the Warri Police Area Command.

This kind of arrest is capable of instilling fear of possible clamp down among Journalists in the state particularly with the failure of the police to disclose their offences in accordance with the provision of Section 6(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, a fundamental rights lawyer said.

As of the time of filing the report, the journalists were still in the custody of the Warri Area Command with their condition unknown.

Meanwhile, efforts were on by the leadership of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to reach the Warri Area Commander, Mr Muhammed Garba and the Commissioner of Police, Mr Muhammed Inuwa, on the development.

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