The Concerned Citizens for Atiku has express its deep disappointment at the illegal arrest, detention and secret arraignment of Premium Times reporter, Samuel Ogundipe, by the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police.
The position of the group, which is backing the presidential aspiration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, was stated by its Convener, Adebowale Taiwo Jante, in a statement.
The statement added: “Mr. Ogundipe is the latest victim on the long list of innocent hardworking Nigerians illegally traumatised by the leadership of the Nigerian Police and we refuse to accept that this should be allowed to continue in a country that claims to be practicing democracy.
“It is also sad that this is happening at a time when Nigerians as usual have given the Muhammadu Buhari-led government the benefit of the doubt with the reforms it is carrying out in the police unit, which includes a change in name from SARS to FSARS.
“While the skepticism that followed the announcement is valid and deserved, the government now in the hands of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, must realize that it has brought enough hardship on the people through extortion, denial of fundamental human rights and impoverishment and this must end at some point. Let this be that point.
“We unequivocally state here that should Mr. Ogundipe who has not broken any laws or betrayed the ethics of his profession continue to remain in custody beyond Wednesday night, our movement will mobilize its members and well-meaning Nigerians to the streets to protest this action by IGP Idris Ibrahim.
“We are therefore calling on Mr. Idris to free Samuel Ogundipe now, return him in perfect health condition and tender an unreserved apology to the reporter and his employers or risk civil action of unprecedented magnitude that will further complicate issues for the failed administration he serves.”