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Segun Olatunji: Media bodies, CSOs refer case to National Media Ombudsman for adjudication

CSOs

The Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO), the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have resolved to refer the case of the abduction of the General Editor of FirstNews newspapers, Mr. Segun Olatunji, by soldiers to the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC) – The National Media Ombudsman, for adjudication.

The Media bodies and their civil society partners in a statement on Monday said they took the action after meeting with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) on April 14.2024.

The statement was signed by Mal. Kabiru A. Yusuf, president, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) / President, Nigerian Press Organisation (NPO); Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, Executive Secretary, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON); Eze Anaba, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Comrade Chris Isiguzo, MFR; National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Maureen Chigbo, President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP); Musikilu Mojeed, President, International Press Institute, Nigeria Chapter (IPI Nigeria); Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director, Media Rights Agenda (MRA); Lanre Arogundade, Executive Director, International Press Centre (IPC); and Adetokunbo Mumuni, Director, Socio-Economic Rights & Accountability Project (SERAP).

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According to them, the military authorities said they acted to forestall a potential threat to national security and would have reported Mr. Segun Olatunji’s matter to the National Media Complaints Commission (NMCC) – The National Media Ombudsman – if they had been aware of its existence.

“After considering this disposition towards the Ombudsman, the NPO, BON and the Civil Society Partners have decided after reviewing the outcome of the April 14 meeting, to refer the matter to the Ombudsman for adjudication.

“The report of the Ombudsman process would be made public.

“We hope that the parties concerned will seize this opportunity to settle the matter in the interest of law, order and respect for the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution.

“Besides, the specific issue of Olatunji, the group condemns the increasing militarisation of the civic space, which has seen increasing use of excessive force by soldiers in matters that would ordinarily be handled by the police,” the statement read in part.

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