The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, has described as unfortunate and abuse of power, the arrest and detention of Mr. Tom Oga Uhia, publisher of Power Steering Magazine by the police.
Mr. Uhia was arrested in a Gestapo manner by men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, FCID Abuja on the instruction of the Minister of Power, Mr. Jeddy Agba.
In a statement on Friday by Chairman and Secretary, NUJ FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu respectively, the Union noted that if the Minister believes he has either been defamed or suffered libel, he should seek Judicial remedy through the courts rather than resorting to abuse of power and privilege using the police .
“It is obvious that recent events are not enough lessons to officials in power that there is always a day of reckoning . If the Minister of State, Power, Mr. Godwin Jeddy Agba feels strongly that he has suffered libel or defamation, what he ought to do is to seek legal remedy through the courts rather than using the police to arrest and detain Mr. TomIga Uhia, Publisher of Power Steering Magazine for over 24hrs now without being charged to court.”
“The NUJ FCT is not unaware of serious security challenges facing the country and Urges the IGP to channel valuable time and energy in confronting those issues including the growing nationwide protests against police harassment and brutality rather than arresting and detaining journalist without being charged to court after 72 hrs.
“We call on the IGP to Unconditionality release Mr. Uhia and Jeddy Agba to follow the due process of the law, if he is persuaded he has any case.
“The NUJ will resist any and all attempts to stifle Press Freedom and gag journalists in the performance of their constitutional guaranteed role of holding government and its officials accountable to the people “.
According to the statement, the Union will continue to forensically X-ray the activities of government and in particular those who believe they can use their positions to intimidate ,harass , arrest and detain journalists for reporting on them.