The Executive Director of the International Press Centre (IPC), Lanre Arogundade has condemned the continuous detention of the Publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore by the DSS despite court Injunction ordering his release.
Arogundade expressed his displeasure with the DSS over its refusal to release the former Presidential candidate while speaking at a public presentation of “trends in reportage of post 2019 elections Issues”, an EU-SDGN Project.
Speaking on the freedom of the Press, the IPC boss pointed to the stanza of the National anthem which made reference to freedom saying that there is presently no freedom of expression in the country.
“I don’t think there is freedom, because we shouldn’t be living in lie. I can’t be here in all good conscience and not talk about our displeasure with the continued sabotage of the bail condition granted Omoyele Sowore, who is a publisher and who we think that irrespective of the political circumstances of his intention deserves his freedom on the terms that the high court in Abuja have granted him. All these excuses by DSS which surfaces everyday are not acceptable to the international Press Centre,“ Arogundade said.
Further condemning the ill treatment meted on another Activist and Season journalist, Agba Jalingo who was charged to court on counts bordering on acts of treason, treasonable felony, and threatening through various publications on crossriverwatch.com and social media, Arogundade said “I also want to use this occasion to express our displeasure over the ill treatment being meted to Agba Jalingo, for us he has raised an allegation through his report, which is in fulfillment of the constitutional obligation of the media to monitor Governance and hold elected leaders accountable to the people.
“The onus is on the state governor to say that those allegations are not correct but to grab the journalist over a report and now slam a terrorism charge on him and begin to mangle him is clearly unacceptable and we are also saying that Agba Jalingo should be granted bail, he is a well known journalist he is not going to run anywhere”
The media roundtable which was graced by the Chief Press Secretary of the INEC chairman Mr. Rotimi Oyekan and other seasoned Journalist from different news medium examined how selected Print and Online medium covered election issues between July and September 2019.
Findings of the research team revealed that there was no content promoting hate speech in any of the print and online medium covered between July and September 2019.
The findings made IPC and participants at the public presentation resolve to concluding that the media are not the sponsors of hate speech as any hate speech content found on the pages of the newspaper either online or print were from politicians either through adverts or sponsored reports.