On the same day Acting President Yemi osinabjo ordered the immediate overhauling of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, a journalist with Premium Times has been detained by the same unit.
The newspaper revealed that SARS arrested and detained Samuel Ogundipe, who covers the security sector, on Tuesday.
Also detained but later released at the SARS headquarters in Abuja were the newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, who was manhandled, and its education correspondent, Azeezat Adedigba.
Adedigba was later released after spending about three hours in detention.
Mojeed and Ogundipe were driven from the SARS headquarters in Abuja to the IGP Monitoring Unit at Force Headquarters, where Ogundipe was made to write a statement, just as a DCP at the IGP Monitoring Unit, Sani Ahmadu, was heard directing lawyers to “rush to court” to obtain a warrant to detain Ogundipe.
He was asked to reveal the source of his story on the IGP’s memo to Osinbajo on the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), which took place last Tuesday.
When the Editor-in-Chief explained to the DCP that it was unethical to compel a journalist to reveal his source, the police officer became furious and threatened the journalist.
“He said the Police was acting within the law and that Samuel would remain detained unless he discloses those who gave him the document,” the journalist said.
Officials at the police headquarters told Premium Times that the order to detain the journalist came directly from the Inspector General of Police, who is said to be angry at this paper’s critical reporting of his activities.