The International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned the harassment of the Publisher of an online platform, WikkiTimes, Haruna Mohammed and one of his reporters, Idris Kamal, by police in Bauchi State.
The duo were invited by the police on Monday after a member of the House of Representatives representing Bauchi Federal Constituency, Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi, petitioned the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) over the Wikki Times report on the sudden death of the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The two men were later detained by the police.
The IPC Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade, who reacted to the development in a statement issued on Tuesday by the centre’s Communications Officer, Toyin Ayoade, urged the police in Bauchi to avoid being used as tools for harassment of journalists in the state.
The statement read: “Since the petitioner alleged defamation, the police should have in the first instance advised him to seek legal redress instead of illegally detaining the journalists for 10 hours on Monday, June 27, 2022, and subjecting them to physical and mental harassment in the process.
“It now behoves the police authorities in the state to ensure the safety of Mohammed and Kamal.
“Journalists should not continue to be treated as endangered species in Nigeria. In all circumstances, the security agencies must always strive to toe the path of the rule of law in handling complaints or petitions against journalists and other media professionals, just as they should normally do for all citizens.”
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