OPAN Blows Hot Over Arrest of 247ureports Publisher Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe

July 13, 2022
Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Nigeria Police Force has been asked to release the publisher of an online news platform, 247ureports.com, Mr Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe, without any further delay.

Mr Ezenekwe was arrested in Abuja earlier this month by some security operatives dressed in mufti over a petition filed by one Mr Primus Odili, who served as the Chief of Staff to the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr Willie Obiano.

Mr Odili, according to reports, wrote to the police that the journalist published a libellous article about him in May 2022, which was triggered by some of his enemies in the administration of his former boss.

The police, through the monitoring team of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), swung into action and picked up Mr Ezenekwe on July 5 and has remained in incarceration without allegedly being charged to court.

The action of the police has not gone down well with the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), the flagship organization for digital news publishers, which wants the media practitioners released.

In a statement jointly signed by the president of OPAN, Mr Austyn Ogannah, and the General-Secretary, Mr Daniel Elombah, the association described the action of the police as “unlawful and an infringement of his fundamental rights,” calling on his immediate release of Mr Ezenekwe and an apology “for his unlawful incarceration.”

According to OPAN, Mr Odili, who lost his bid to clinch a senatorial bid on the platform of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), wants Mr Ezenekwe to disclose the source of the information used in the article.

“We find it disturbing and unacceptable that the police could allow a citizen to use it to intimidate a journalist.

“The police have continued to intimidate and coerce Ezenekwe demanding to know the source of his story. This is wrong. Is the police above the laws of the land?” the group queried.

Dipo Olowookere

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

Mr Olowookere can be reached via [email protected]

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