Police detectives have arrested the Editor of an Abuja-based on-line medium, NewsDigest, Mr. Gidado Yushau over a report on an incident in Hillcrest Agro-Alied Industry in Ilorin, which is owned by a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Sarah Alade.
The Editor’s arrest got here 5 days after a police staff in Lagos State swooped on knowledgeable webmaster for NewsDigest, Mr. Adebowale Adekoya.
According to an announcement by PRNigeria (a father or mother agency for NewsDigest), “the Editor and webmaster were arrested in a Gestapo-like style for publishing an investigative story titled: “Inside Kwara factory where Indian hemp smoking is ‘legalized”.
“Gidado, who can be the Editor of the YouthsDigest was arrested on Tuesday night time and first taken to Wuye District Police Station, after the plain-cloth Police officers stormed his residence in Abuja.
“The manufacturing facility, Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industry in Ilorin, is alleged to be owned by a former appearing governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Sarah Alade.
“The report, which was revealed on 19 May 2018, was authored by Mr. Alfred Olufemi, an award-winning campus journalist from one of many premier universities within the nation.
“In the report, it was said that Hillcrest Agro-Alied Industry tolerated the smoking of cigarettes in addition to Indian hemp by staff saddled with the accountability of loading and off-loading processed and unprocessed grains in vans with out being sanctioned
“It was additionally reported that the agency refused to answer creator’s inquiry on the disturbing scenario, after he had put a number of calls and textual content messages to the business’s sizzling line.
“Four detectives, early Wednesday (immediately) morning, left the Wuye Police Station with Gidado and Adekoya in a blue automobile, en route Ilorin for additional interrogation and with the intention of arresting Alfred.
“In a telephone chat, lawyer to the arrested NewsDigest’s staff, Barrister Yunus Abdulsalam, said it ‘defies logic that something that happened last year May will be resuscitated now, a year and a half after the report was published by the newspaper.”
The lawyer, who defined that Gidado is a well known younger media entrepreneur, picketed the police for storming the residences of the younger journalist and his webmaster, in a way that’s harking back to a sting operation.
On what the ‘illegal’ arrest portends for the way forward for campus journalism, Barr. Abdulsalam, mentioned: “This is a sad commentary, and an ugly chapter in the life of campus journalism in Nigeria. This kind of illegality is not a good omen for campus journalism. It is also a traumatic and horrifying experience for NewsDigest and YouthsDigest, as a credible online media platform to promote activities of budding writers and young journalists.”
“Both NewsDigest and YouthsDigest are two notable media organizations which have created competitiveness amongst campus journalists. And as a matter of reality, the creator of the investigative report and different younger writing abilities who usually contribute tales for the 2 mediums are reporters with untainted integrity.
“Thus, they’re being engaged with by different credible and frontline media homes comparable to Premium Times, The Nation ICIR, Blueprint and the Cable amongst others to function their campus correspondent and reporters. Had it been they’re recognized for writing fictitious or libelous tales, would they’ve been engaged by the mainstream media institutions?
The lawyer insisted that the alleged ‘defamatory’ offence is one that allows each the NewsDigest Editor and webmaster to be granted bail; as such the police ought to do the needful with out additional ado.
“The alleged offence is not even one that necessitates arresting them. In fact, what the police did by arresting them can be compared to using a sledgehammer to kill an ant,” he mentioned.