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Journalism Is Not A Crime: Unlawful Arrest Of Elombah Journalists By Police Boss Ibrahim Idris (READ)

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It is now a policing policy in Nigeria under IGP Ibrahim Kpotum Idris that “journalists including bloggers and online publishers are now armed robbers in Nigeria”.

Our first statement of January 1, 2018, has now become an advocacy statement of incontrovertibility.

Under the present IGP, it is now a policing culture to unleash the fully armed operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) on innocent, unarmed and defenseless Nigerians; under the guise of “attempting to commit the offense of defamation”.

Our updates not only authenticated wholly our statement of January 1, 2018 but further exposed more policing and crime detection and investigation blunders including deliberate mistaken identity and custodial and pretrial persecution.

As reported in our statement of January 1, 2018, Citizens Daniel, Izuchukwu and Timothy Elombah; publishers of the Elombah.News.Com in Abuja were arrested and detained by the Federal SARS; on express orders of the IGP. Citizens Daniel and Izuchukwu were later released on bail, while Citizen Timothy was detained and refused bail.

The editor of Elombah.com, Tim Elombah
The editor of Elombah.com, Tim Elombah paraded by Nigerian Police in handcuffs for publishing an opinion piece critical of the Nigerian Police Inspector General, Idris Ibrahim | Police Handout

Today, instead of granting him bail, the IGP ordered the operatives of F/SARS to locate an amenable presiding judge of a court of inferior records so as to secure a remand aimed at his further detention and torture in custody.

As expected, they landed at one Mpape Area Court in Abuja and applied for 20 days remand to continue to seize, detain and torture the innocent Citizen under the guise of “continuing investigation”. After legal firepower by Counsels present, the Area Court Presiding Judge/Magistrate, out of no choice, granted the
marauding SARS operatives seven days.

According to the authorities of the Federal Anti Robbery Squad (F/SARS), as confirmed by the Elombah family, “Citizen Timothy Elombah is being held and investigated for defaming the character and name of IGP, Ibrahim Idris via an article titled: IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies, published not by the Elombahs nor via their Elombah.News.Com.

The article was published in a number of news sites on December 22, 2017)”. The said article was written and published by Ebiowei Dickson; who neither works for the Elombahs nor publishes on their new site.

The false accusation of defamation was strongly denied by the Elombahs who also reminded their captors that it is nothing short of mistaken identity and transfer of criminal liability, yet the SARS operatives vehemently refused to discontinue their meddlesome interloping into an area of crime they know little or nothing about.

The SARS operatives, according to the Elombahs,  claimed that they are under the marching orders of the IGP and have strong evidence against they’re captive; yet they still sought for weeks of indefinite custody remand so as to torture Citizen Tim Elombah grievously and possibly force him into an admission of guilt under duress.

Nigeria’s Police SARS; comprising F/SARS, Zonal or Z/SARS and State or S/SARS are the country’s most barbaric, torturous and murderous policing sub-department. Their human rights abuses especially custodial torture and pretrial executions are second to none and one of the worst; if not the worst in the world’s records of policing atrocities and heinous rights abuses.

Created to tackle armed robbery and kidnapping menace in Nigeria, operatives of the police sub-department fundamentally lack requisite skills and modern kits for crime detection, investigation, and prosecution.

Crime data and reports in the country are totally moribund; likewise police crime forensic and intelligence; crime detection and investigation using electronic and mental systematic approaches.

Through rabid policing corruption, the innocent have become armed robbers and treated as the black sheep with no recourse to due processes except instant deaths arising from torture and other acts of policing brigandage; while those in conflict with the law in terms of violent crimes; especially those capable of buying their freedoms, are let off the hook and treated as the black gold.

We again call on all citizens of good conscience especially human rights activists and traditional and online media practitioners in Nigeria and beyond to rise in defense of Citizen Tim Elombah and against the excesses of the IGP.

It is our firm demand that the spurious criminal allegations leveled against Citizen Tim Elombah must be discontinued and dropped after which a multi-billion compensatory justice suit will be instituted against the IGP and his subordinate rampaging SARS operatives.

The unfolding gory events in the past months in Nigeria clearly indicate that IGP Idris has overstayed his welcome as Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police and should be booted out.  As Nigeria’s direct and indirect taxpayers, we shall no longer continue to sit by and watch a common public officer in uniform behave as an outlaw.

Nigerians should be reminded that our tax proceeds will no longer be used to service a security officer who runs riot on the generality of Nigerians with guns and uniforms procured with our tax proceeds.

As Nigeria’s IGP, it appears that he has forgotten that we cater for excreta, food, clothing, shelter, health and other social  comfort and living, conveniences and inconveniences of himself and all members of
his nuclear or polygamous and extended family.

Signed:

For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chair
Mobile Line: +2348174090052
Email: botchairman@intersociety-ng. org

Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq., LLB, BL
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Email: [email protected]

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