The four reporters for local daily Leadership were detained on Monday after reporting that President Jonathan had issued orders to frustrate potent opposition by any means, including survellance, ahead of the 2015 presidential elections, however the published story did point to whom the directive was addressed.
We could remember that presidential spokesman, Dr Rueben Abati had issued a statement about the purported presidential directive thus :” The circulation of a fictitious ‘presidential directive’ that seeks in the main to cause civil strife, engender a breakdown of law and order, and negate the values of our democracy is a very grievous act indeed that should not be ignored”.
The four journalists freed late last night have filed a complaint over their treatment.
The Nigerian press has enjoyed a relative freedom to every extent of criticizing their President which is usually tolerated however the recent publication of a document alleged to be a directive from the presidency by the Leadership newspaper has stepped beyond limits.
Lashley Oladigbolu, the Chairman of the U.K Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Europe (NUJE) writes from England