Group calls for arrest of DSS officials who harassed journalists in Abuja

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A group, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution has called on the Director-General of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) Mr Yusuf Magaji Bichi to immediately effect the arrest of its personnel who harassed and terrorised journalists at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday.

Convener of the group, Ariyo-Dare Atoye in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja also called on the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to investigate the shameful incidence in other to ensure that recurring episodes of rights violation and harassment of journalists by security agents are halted.

The group was reacting to a viral video where personnel of the secret service was seen abusing their responsibility at the Federal High Court which demonstrates a reckless and condemnable act that must be condemned by all.

The statement reads in part: “We hereby call 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, on Monday.

“In a video widely circulated in the country and seen by many Nigerians, these officials of the SSS abused their responsibility and demonstrated a reckless and condemnable act, that must be condemned by all.

“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 harassment of journalists by security agents are halted.”

Atoye, however, urged the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) to rise up in protecting journalists from frequent harassment and attacks from security agencies.

“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,” he said.