PPF condemns raid on daily Trust newspaper offices and arrest of its journalists

Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria has expressed concern over the raid on Abuja and Maiduguri offices of Daily Trust and arrest of its regional editor on January 6, 2019.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, has termed the raid on newspaper offices and arrest of its journalists, a clear intimidation of media freedom. PPF called on the Nigerian authorities to immediately look into this matter and immediately release Uthman Abubakar without any charges. PPF also urged the Nigerian government and security forces to stop targeting journalists and media workers.

According to International Press Institute (IPI), the Nigerian army raided the offices of newspaper, seized a large amount of laptop and computers, and sealed the offices of newspaper in Abuja and Maiduguri in the Borno State capital.

The soldiers also arrested the newspaper’s regional editor, Uthman Abubakar, and one of its reporters, Ibrahim Sawab in Maiduguri. Sawab was later released.

The step of army was a response to the newspaper’s publication of news about a planned operation by the armed forces in Borno region against Islamist militants. Which led the lives of army officials in danger and destabilized national security.

But the authorities have not provided any clear evidence that how the news published by Daily Trust would threaten the lives of military or the security of military operations.

This is not the first time that Nigerian security forces have arrested or detained the journalists in the country. Last year in August, the law enforcement agencies arrested journalist of Premium Times, Samuel Ogundipe for his story about a letter sent by the inspector general of police to the vice president containing actions of the former director of the State Security Service.