Whistleblowers Coalition Condemns Abduction of Photojournalist, Calls on Government to Secure his Release

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Mr. Lanre Suraju
Chairman, Human and Environmental Development Agenda

The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has condemned the June 8, 2022 abduction of Mr Uchenna Nwube, a photojournalist working with the Ebonyi State Government House, by suspected kidnappers and called on the Government to launch an investigation into the incident and secure his release.

Uchenna was abducted on the Okigwe-Aba-Enugu Expressway in Ebonyi State while returning to Abakaliki, Ebonyi, from Aba, Abia State. His abductors have subsequently reached out to his family demanding a N50 million ransom for his release.

The Coalition criticize as unacceptable, a statement credited to Police spokesperson, Chris Anyanwu, that the incident is not within the jurisdiction of the Ebonyi State Police Command. CWPPF called on the Ebonyi State Government to collaborate with the relevant police authorities having jurisdiction in the matter to facilitate a speedy and thorough investigation of the abduction and ensure that the journalist is released unharmed.

The Coalition also called on the Federal Government to provide all necessary support to the Ebonyi State Government and the Police to ensure a satisfactory resolution of the matter.

It urged the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything in its power to ensure the safe release of Uchenna and also demanded that the Federal and State Governments collaborate with the Police to track down the perpetrators of the attack on the journalist and ensure that they are brought to justice.

The Coalition called on law enforcement and security agencies to put more effort into ensuring that normalcy is restored on the Okigwe-Aba-Enugu Road Axis in the light of the recurring incidents of abductions in the area.

Uchenna regained his freedom on June 11.

CWPPF is a group of 17 media and civil society organisations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.