Akwa Ibom State

Policy Alert Demands End To Gestapo Tactics Used Against Journalists in Akwa Ibom

Uyo, NIGERIA. Policy Alert, a Civil Society Organisation promoting economic and ecological justice in the Niger Delta has demanded that the government of Akwa Ibom State and security agencies stop using gestapo tactics to hound journalists in the state.

A newspaper distributor, Mr. Chidi Ngadiubia, was arrested by the police on Friday, August 12, 2022, in place of the publisher of TheMail Newspaper, Mr. Ifreke Nseowo. This occurred after Nseowo had received a disturbing call from a lady inviting him to come for an advertorial, and directed the lady to Ngadiubia. The Government of Akwa Ibom State has been allegedly linked to the arrest.

In a statement signed by the Executive Director of Policy Alert, Tijah Bolton-Akpan, the organisation called on the Nigeria Police Force to invite Mr. Ifreke Nseowo formally if there are legitimate questions he needs to answer, whilecondemning the recent arrest of Ngadiubia in lieu of Nseowo. 

“We are deeply concerned about these developments as they constitute a threat to the life, safety and fundamental human rights of both Ngadiubia and Nseowo, and their families,” the statement noted. 

“We have observed a rising spate in incidents that constrain media freedom and civic space and must restate that the freedom and fundamental rights of citizens, including the media and human rights defenders, are not subject to the whims and caprices of security operatives or the government. If anyone is offended by reports in The Mail Newspaper, the police should invite Nseowo formally. There are civilized approaches to seeking redress rather than using security operatives to hound journalists and newspaper distributors. 

“The media has a responsibility to hold the government accountable to the people and we will not sit back and watch any attempt to intimidate journalists and use scare tactics to stop them from performing their constitutional roles. We want to put the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Nigerian Police on notice that the international human rights communityhas been alerted on this disturbing trend.”