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NUJ petitions IG over detention of journalist

The Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, over the detention of one its members, Yomi Olomofe.

Olomofe, who has been having a running battle with the Nigeria Customs Service, was invited to the Police Station, Panti, Lagos, for clarification on the matter, but rather than being questioned on the purpose of the visit, was on Thursday detained.

Olomofe, who is the Editorial Board Chairman of Badagry Prime News, was later moved to Alagbon Command in Ikoyi area of the state.

In the petition written by the union’s lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, NUJ and Olomofe are seeking a public apology, assurance of Olomofe’s safety and N100 million compensation for breach of fundamental human rights.

In the petition, Ogunye wrote that Olomofe has, again, been admitted to the hospital for urgent medical attention and that the shock of his latest harassment has caused him fresh psychological breakdown.

He said: “Our client’s rights to the dignity of the human person and personal liberty, guaranteed by Sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution, have been violated.

“His right to freedom of expression and the press under Section 39 of the same Constitution, as a practising journalist, who is being cowed, intimidated and harassed to compel him into self-censorship, is implicated.

“In the circumstances, we hereby request, that the Nigeria Police Force refrain from further violating the rights of our client, at the instance of his assailants and tormentors, as described above.”

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