Admin l Thursday, November 3, 2022
LAGOS – As Nigeria joins other nations to mark International Day to End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists, the Lagos State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) is worried over the rising incidents of incarceration of journalists in the course of performance of their duties.
“Two of such journalists -Adekola Bamigbala, a Photojournalist and Innocent Orok, a Maritime Journalist have been languishing in [koyi Prison for so many weeks and Uche Igwe, who has been on trial over incident connected with Chrisland School”, NUJ said in a statement by Adeleye Ajayi and Tunde Olalere, Chairman and Secretary, respectively.
This ugly situation, the union said does not augur well, as it is inimical to the struggle for Press Freedom and a setback to the existing relationship between the government and the Nigerian press.
“The press as the fourth estate of the realm does not deserve this kind of suffering our members are going through”, the NUJ said.
Bamigbala allegedly went on an official assignment with a team of Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) and Police officials and in the course of the assignment, the offender died while struggling to retrieve some of his materials from the impounded vehicle.
“It is disheartening that Bamigbala has been in prison custody for more than seven weeks carrying the cross of key actors, who are government officials in the team that went out, who are walking freely. Orok on his part allegedly had a libel case instituted against him by the Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron.
“The case led to the remand of Orok in Ikoyi Prison for up to four weeks. We also want to seize this opportunity to plea for clemency in the case of another journalist, Uche Igwe and the authorities of Chrisland School.
“We, therefore, call for urgent intervention of both the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government in the three judicial matters.
“We call on all tiers of government to see the media as partners in progress for the sustenance of democracy”, NUJ said in the statement.