THE Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN, has expressed concern over claims by the Nigeria Police Force that two of its members conspired to commit terrorism offences and cyber crime for approving an opinion article on their website which the police described as uncomplimentary and offensive.
In a statement by its president, Austyn Ogannah, the OPAN called on the police to withdraw the “spurious charges without delay and stop harassing journalists for doing their constitutionally backed assignments.”
The Nigeria Police will today arraign Messrs’ Timothy Elombah and Daniel Elombah over allegations of terrorism and cyber crime.
The Publishers of Elombah News were charged by the Nigeria Police for Cybercrime, cyber stalking, cyber bullying and for “championing Biafra terrorism.”
The OPAN expressed worry by the police claim that the journalists carrying out their social responsibility, which is enshrined in the constitution, intended to “create native war and lead to breakdown of law in the country.”
“This claim is not only ridiculous, but also disgraceful of the police force under Mr. Idris”, it stated.
The statement reads: “The reputable media organization has stated that they have nothing to do with the publication in question, because it was neither written by the Editor or Publisher or any staffer and there is nothing in Elombah.com that promotes terrorism in Nigeria.
“It is to be noted that the online medium has published series of articles against the activities of Boko Haram in the country and other acts of terrorism, so linking it with the activities of IPOB is a joke taken too far.”
“For clarity, OPAN restates that Elombah.com is a responsible media organization. It is not a terrorist organization and neither is it “championing Biafra terrorism.”