Friday, April 19, 2024
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Assault and Detention of Female Journalist, Kasarahchi Aniagolu, a threat to Free Press

Press freedom and social responsibility go hand in hand. When journalists are assaulted, oppressed, and denied their constitutionally enshrined job by security agents, it constitutes a serious breach of both their private and public fundamental human rights, to which Nigeria is a signatory to international media treaties. Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) empowers the press to hold the government accountable to the people, thereby distinguishing journalists as those who perform an essential duty to the nation.


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In a strong denouncement, THE WHISTLER Newspapers has condemned the unjust arrest, assault, and ongoing detention of one of its reporters, Kasarahchi ANIAGOLU, at the hands of Nigerian Police Force officers operating within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The incident occurred while Ms. Aniagolu was diligently performing her journalistic duties, documenting a raid on Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Wuse Zone 4 on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. Despite clearly identifying herself as a journalist, she was met with forceful apprehension.

During the arrest, Ms. Aniagolu faced physical aggression, intimidation, and had her equipment unlawfully confiscated. Presently, she is being held at the Anti-Violence Crime Unit (formerly SARS office) in Guzape.

Expressing deep concern over the blatant disregard for press freedom, THE WHISTLER condemned the Nigeria Police Force’s actions, emphasizing the egregious violation of Ms. Aniagolu’s fundamental rights. The publication deemed the physical assault and threats against her life as intolerable, constituting a direct attack on independent journalism.

Of further concern are the conflicting statements regarding the operation from both the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) headquarters and the FCT Police Command. These inconsistencies have raised serious questions about accountability and transparency in the matter.

Calling for immediate action, THE WHISTLER demanded the unconditional release of Ms. Aniagolu and a sincere apology from the leadership of The Nigeria Police Force. Additionally, the publication urged for a swift and transparent inquiry into the journalist’s unlawful arrest, assault, and detention. It emphasized the need for accountability, with those responsible for the actions facing legal consequences.

In closing, THE WHISTLER implored all relevant authorities to uphold the fundamental rights of journalists, ensuring their safety and liberty to report without fear or coercion.

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