Media Outcry Sparks Demand for Justice: Investigation Urged in Segun Olatunji’s Case

By Joke Kujenya

A UNITED front of media organizations, associations and civil society groups have raised their voices against the recent unjust detention and maltreatment of Mr. Segun Olatunji, Editor, of FirstNews Online Newspapers.

The outcry calls for an immediate and thorough investigation into the incident, demanding accountability for all those involved.

The distressing incident saw armed individuals clad in military uniforms storming Mr. Olatunji’s residence in Lagos suburb on March 15, 2024, where he was forcefully taken into custody without proper explanation, subjected to brutal treatment, including torture, and held incommunicado for 14 days in underground cell in Abuja.

The undersigned entities, expressing deep concern and condemnation, emphasize the need for a transparent and independent inquiry into this egregious violation of rights.

The collective comprising prominent bodies such as the Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria (BON), Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GCOP), International Press Centre (IPC), and the Soci0-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), pledges to escalate actions if these demands are not met within 14 days.

They demand the prosecution of all individuals implicated in Mr. Olatunji’s ordeal, including those who executed his arrest, their superiors, and those who ordered or condoned the action.

Key figures allegedly involved, including Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major-General Emmanuel Undiandeye and Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa, are singled out, according to the issued statement, for their purported roles in the incident.

The demand for accountability extends to all levels of responsibility, ensuring justice is served comprehensively.

Furthermore, the call includes compensation for Mr. Olatunji in accordance with constitutional provisions, a public apology for the violation of his rights, and a commitment from the Federal Government to safeguard the rights and safety of journalists in the future.

The coalition notes that their unified stance stresses the importance of press freedom and the protection of journalists in a democratic society, sending a clear message of intolerance towards any infringement upon these fundamental principles.   

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