The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday gave reasons it is prosecuting Premium Times’ reporter, Samuel Ogundipe. A statement by the Force spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood said Ogundipe was being prosecuted for alleged theft and unlawful possession of restricted and classified documents.
He disclosed that the materials Ogundipe possessed were inimical to the country’s security, adding that they could jeopardize peace, and are capable of precipitating crisis across the country. Moshood insisted that the Force was a law-abiding organization and will continue to ensure that the rule of law prevailed at all times. The statement reads, “The Force is categorically stating that One Samuel Ogundipe is being investigated and prosecuted for the offences of “theft and unlawful possession of restricted and classified documents” inimical to State/National Security that can jeopardize peace, breakdown of law and order capable of precipitating crisis in the Country.
“Mr. Samuel Ogundipe is also being investigated and prosecuted under other offences which violate Official Secret Act, Cyber Crime Act, and the Penal Code Law for which he has volunteered statements and is standing trial. ‘It is factual to state that Mr. Samuel Ogundipe was arrested on the 14th of August, 2018 and on completion of Preliminary Investigation, he was arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction in the FCT in less than Twenty Four (24) Hours of his arrest. He was remanded to Police custody and the case was adjourned to Monday, 20th August, 2018.
“However, individual(s) or group(s) who violates the law must be brought to justice, the Force will also ensure that all Nigerians irrespective of profession, practice or carrier are subject to the same Law, and therefore wishes to impress it on the Media to encourage prosecution of all offenders upon whom a prima facie case has been established. Every concerned group(s) or interested person(s) should be aware that the matter is in court and the due process of law is being followed.
“The Force is hereby assuring all law abiding Nigerians, respected media practitioners and other members of the public of a guaranteed freedom of expression and other rights as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended, and will continue to hold in high esteem with utmost respect, the views of prominent and notable media unions, practitioners associations and other stakeholders. However, the Force is constrained by the Law to allow justice to take its course and rule of law to prevail in this case.”