Police explain arrest, prosecution of PREMIUM TIMES journalist

PREMIUM TIMES journalist Samuel Ogundipe

The Nigeria Police Force said PREMIUM TIMES journalist, Samuel Ogundipe, is being investigated and prosecuted for theft and unlawful possession of restricted and classified documents.

Mr Ogundipe was arrested on August 14 for alleged publication of the Inspector-General of Police interim report on the investigation on the former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura.

Daura had authorised operatives of the DSS to lay siege to the National Assembly last week.

A statement by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, on Thursday Abuja, said the documents were inimical to state and national security.

He added that the documents could jeopardise peace, breakdown of law and order capable of causing crisis in the country.

Mr Moshood said that Ogundipe was also being investigated and prosecuted under other offences which violate Official Secret Act, Cyber Crime Act, and the Penal Code Law for which he has volunteered statements and standing trial.

He said the journalist was arrested on completion of preliminary investigation and would be arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction in the FCT in less than 24 hours.

The spokesman said that he was remanded in police custody and the case was adjourned to Aug. 20.

“The Nigeria Police force as a law-abiding organisation will continue to ensure that the Rule of Law and its supremacy which are essentials of democracy prevails at all times,” he said.

He said that individual or group of persons who violate the law must be brought to justice.

Moshood added that the force would also ensure that all Nigerians irrespective of profession, practice or carrier are subject to the same law.

“Every concerned group(s) or interested person(s) should be aware that the matter is in court and the due process of law is being followed.

“The Nigeria police force and the media are veritable partners in ensuring peace, law and order in the country, but it will not compromise or allow an offender to go scot free or pervert the course of justice,” he said.