The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), on Thursday welcomed the release of Tim Elombah, the editor of Elombah.com after 25 days of unlawful detention by the Police.
Tim and his brothers were arrested in the wee hours of January 1, 2018 by men and officers of the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, and the Special Tactical Squad, STS, of the Nigeria police.
The Premier organisation of Nigeria’s online journalists in a statement issued after the release of Tim Elombah via an order of an FCT Abuja high court said they expect the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotum Idris to immediately inform Nigerians under what charges the Elombah brothers were arrested and detained.
“We trust that the judiciary will address whatever injustices suffered by the innocent citizens”, OPAN said in the statement signed by their President, Austin Oganah.
“We also hope that the publisher, Daniel Elombah, will be able to travel back to his base in the United Kingdom immediately to rejoin his family”.
“We expect the authorities to henceforth respect the inalienable right of every Nigerian to freedom of speech and expression and call on all Nigerians to join us and stand firm against any flagrant abuse of these fundamental rights without excuses”, the statement concluded.
The Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, OPAN that encompasses Digital/New Media Publishers has petitioned The Nigerian Senate over the arrest of Daniel and Tim Elombah, the Publisher and Editor, of United Kingdom Based Online News Website, Elombah.com by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Police, F-SARS on New Year’s Day in Edoji Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State.
OPAN also requested that the Senate launch a probe on the prevalence of attacks on online media and other journalists in the country.
The association in the letter addressed to Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said although the police is yet to give any reason for the arrest, independent finding shows that the arrest was premised on an opinion article titled “IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies” written by Eboiwei Dickson, that was published on an online Medium “Opinion Nigeria” with the IGP ordering his arrest after finding it offensive.
According to the Petition, “At the end of the operation which started around 5am on New Year’s Day, 6 adult male members of the family were handcuffed, herded into a rickety bus and driven to the SARS Nnewi Office where they were briefly detained.”
OPAN said the incident which has caused distress in the family should be addressed as soon as possible by the National Assembly to put an end to the unfortunate cases of harassment of Journalists across the country.