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CUPP condemns detention of journalist, threatens to sue IGP, Power Minister

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The Nigerian Opposition Coalition, CUPP, has condemned the abduction and continued illegal detention of the Publisher of Power Steering Magazine, Oga Tom Uhia by the police on orders of the IGP and Minister of State for Power, Jedy Agba for weeks without trial.

The journalist was picked up by security agents on October 13th, 2020, and had since been kept in secret detention cell since then without access to his family, lawyers or doctors. The journalist is also yet to be charged to court till date.

In a statement signed by the CUPP’s National Spokesman, Barr. Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere on Tuesday, he urged the Minister of Power and the Inspector General of Police to charge the journalist to court in line with Nigerian laws.

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“CUPP totally condemns this actions by Mr. Agba and the IGP of Police. Detaining Uhia without trial is clear abuse of power and sign that the much talked about police reform is a joke.

If the Minister believes that he has been defamed by an alleged publication made by Mr. Uhia in his Magazine, then he should seek legal redress through the courts rather than using the police to arrest the journalist and detain him indefinitely.

“This is Police brutality, impunity and abuse of office by both the Inspector-Generaland the
Minister. They do not have the right to detain a citizen who was only doing his job. After all it is the media’s constitutionally guaranteed role to hold the government and its officials accountable to the people.

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“This detention of Uhia in secret cells for weeks without trial also clearly shows that President Buhari and the Inspector General of Police are not willing to end police brutality and carry out any comprehensive Police reform.

At a time when the country is in great disarray, at a time when citizens are still reeling from what has been one of the country’s darkest hours since its independence in October 1960, following the massacre of innocent protesters at Lekki tollgate and amid continued cries for disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force, a serving minister who is supposed to be making a difference and showing commitment to the government’s so called plan to end police brutality is rather oppressing the citizen and denying his right to press freedom and liberty.

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We call on the IGP to unconditionally release Mr Uhia immediately or chargehim to Court. We are giving the IGP an ultimatum of 48 hours. We are going to file a suit to free the journalist if not released immediately from his unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal detention.

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