The Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre has said that Nigeria has returned to dictatorship where the police and other security agencies arrest and detain journalists over unfavourable reports.

Okechukwu Nwanguma, Executive Director of RULAAC, made the statement while commenting on the arrest of Agba Jalingo, Publisher of Cross River Watch by the Police.

Jalingo had published an article claiming that Governor Ben Ayade approved and diverted N500m meant for Cross River Microfinance Bank.

In the article, Jalingo said the microfinance bank had been rendered non-functional as money earmarked to start its operation was not released.

Commenting on the arrest of Jalingo, Nwanguma said, "The police should not allow themselves to be used to harass and intimidate journalists or critics.

"We are back to the era of dictatorship where police will arrest a journalist and detain him indefinitely, acting at the behest of a state governor who finds a report unfavourable."

Nwanguma therefore called for the immediate release of Jalingo, adding that his arrest and continued detention was a threat to press freedom.

 

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