DSS detains Daily Independent’s Abuja Bureau Chief, Tony Ezimakor
HURIWA condemns arrest, detention
The Department of State Service (DSS) that arrested and detained INDEPENDENT Newspapers’ Abuja Bureau Chief, Tony Ezimakor, on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, has held on to him for the second day running.
Ezimakor had walked into DSS headquarters in Abuja at about 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday to honour an invitation from the security agency, and was detained.
In a statement signed by Editor of the paper, Don Okere, Ezimakor was shunted from one office to the other on Wednesday and was asked to wait for a particular officer who was said to have been away from his office.
The statement said: “INDEPENDENT management had made frantic efforts through its lawyer, Mr. Douglas Ekhator, since Wednesday to see the detained Ezimakor but with little result.
“As of today, the INDEPENDENT management had received no news about Mr. Ezimakor, though the lawyer, Mr. Ekhator, returned to the DSS office on Thursday morning.
“One thing is certain, Mr. Ezimakor was not given his medication though the lawyer took it to him late Wednesday.
“We hereby alert the world to this real and present danger that Mr. Ezimakor is a high blood pressure patient and apart from taking his drugs, needs to see his doctors at very short notice.
“The implication is very clear; any outfit holding him for days is endangering his life.
“We reiterate that Mr. Ezimakor’s wife said the husband left home on Wednesday without medication and did not eat any food before leaving home Wednesday morning.
“She lamented that her husband’s health must be in grave danger, especially as DSS operatives have denied him access to his prescribed drugs.
“INDEPENDENT, therefore, is asking for its Abuja Bureau Chief’s immediate and unconditional release, otherwise, his life is in serious danger.”
Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned Ezimakor’s arrest and detention.
It also demanded for his unconditional release.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko in Abuja yesterday, which also condemned the actions of the DSS in attacking press freedom, therefore, regretted that the National Assembly, which ought to provide effective oversight over such security agencies such as DSS to abide by the due process of the law, is busy trying to churn out anti-democracy legislations seeking to stifle the full exercise of the constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental freedoms as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution.
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