Police Arrest, Detain Online Publisher Indefinitely

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Mr Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe

Mr Ikenna Ellis Ezenekwe, the publisher of an online news platform, https://247ureports.com/, was reportedly arrested on July 5, 2022 by security operatives dressed in mufti over a petition filed by Mr Primus Odili, who served as the Chief of Staff to the immediate past Governor of Anambra State, Mr Willie Obiano.

Reports have it that Mr Odili, petitioned the police claiming that the journalist published a libellous article about him in May 2022, which he claimed was instigated by some of his enemies in the administration of his former boss.

Sequel to the petition, the police, through the monitoring team of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Arrested Ikenna he and has remained in incarceration without being charged to court.

Mr Odili is alleged to be demanding that Ikenna disclose the source of the information used in the said story.

The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), the association for digital news publishers, has called for his immediate release and an apology “for his unlawful incarceration.”

In a joint statement 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.”

The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Southeast Zone has also called on the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to order for the immediate release of the detained journalist.