By Olalekan Awojodu
There was mild drama on Wednesday morning between officers of the Department of State Services(DSS) and journalists at the Federal High Court, Abuja, as the media men defied the attempt of the officers to stop them from covering the trial of the aides of the Yoruba Nation activist, Chief Sunday Adeyemo alias Sunday Igboho.
As at 10am, DSS officials prevented journalists from entering the courtroom. But the reporters will not be cowed as they, in company of another activist, Omoyele Sowore gathered together and forced their way into the courtroom.
Meanwhile, the Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution has called for the arrest of the Department of State Security (DSS) operatives that were involved in the harrasment of Journalists in the line of duty.
At the last trial, the DSS operatives seized camera and prevented some newsmen from carrying out their functions as prescribed by relevant sections of the Constitution.
While condemning the act, the convener of the group, Ariyo-Dare Atoye called on the Director General of the State Security Service, Mr Yusuf Magaji Bichi to immediately effect the arrest of DSS officials who harassed and terrorized journalists at the Federal High Court, Abuja, during the arraignment of Igboho’s aides last Monday.
In a video widely circulated in the country and seen by many Nigerians, these officials of the SSS according to the group abused their responsibility and demonstrated a reckless and condemnable act, that must be condemn by all.
“The statement partly reads: “We also wish to ask the Inspector General of Police to immediately investigate this shameful incident and ensure that the recurring episodes of rights violation and harassments of journalists by security agents are halted.
“It is also instructive at this point for the Nigerian Union of Journalists to rise up and protect journalists from frequent harassment. “We urge the NUJ to explore different options to fight for the rights of journalists, including withdrawing its services to targeted institutions.