By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI-THE Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ in the South East zone, Friday condemned the unlawful and unwarranted arrest and detention of Journalists by members of the Ebonyi State Police Command.
Recall that the Ebonyi State correspondent of New Telegraph Newspaper, Mr. Uchenna Inya was unlawfully detained by the Command, following a tip off that he was doing a report on the 17th anniversary of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB in the state.
The said report was not be published anywhere, yet he was allegedly detained by 4:25pm with his phone and working tools confiscated and later released at 9:35pm even as the state PPRO while speaking with Vanguard in a telephone chat denied the incident.
Reacting to the incident, the National Vice President, South East zone, Comrade Chris Isiguzo stressed that the arrest and detention of the journalists was alien to the norms and practice of true democracy in the country.
He called on the police not to see Journalists as social competitors but partners in progress in the fight against criminality and other social vices in society.
The South East President of the NUJ appealed to his colleagues to ensure that their operations were within the armbit of the law and report accurately and objectively incidents that occurs in the state.
According to him, Journalists should avoid sensational reports and avoid in fighting among themselves so as not to give those outside the scope of journalism the leverage to molest their colleagues.
Meantime, another Journalist, Mr. Emmanuel Igwe of National Issue Newspapers in the state who was allegedly arrested and detained by the Police said he has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police over the infringement of his fundamental human rights by the Police in the State.
This ugly development in the state has triggered off bitter and suspicious relationship between the Police and the Press as the Correspondent Chapel of the NUJ has threatened to boycott reportage of all activities of the Command. Ends