NUJ Imo State Demands Immediate Release of Arrested Journalist Chinonso Uba

NUJ Imo State Demands Immediate Release of Arrested Journalist Chinonso Uba

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Imo State Chapter, has called for the immediate release of journalist Chinonso Uba, also known as Nonso Nkwa, who was arrested by police operatives on Thursday. Uba was taken into custody after finishing his morning program on Ozisa FM, a radio station in Owerri.

State police spokesperson, Henry Okoye, confirmed that Uba was arrested by officers from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Force Headquarters in Abuja, but did not specify the offence. Meanwhile, Imo State’s Commissioner for Information, Declan Emelumba, stated that the arrest was due to allegations made by Uba accusing Governor Hope Uzodinma and former Niger Delta militant leader Asari Dokubo of being behind the killings and insecurity in the state. Emelumba noted that the governor had petitioned the police to investigate the allegations.

In a statement signed by NUJ Chairperson Precious Nwadike and Secretary Martins Ori on Tuesday, the union condemned Uba’s arrest and detention. They argued that the state government should have pursued legal action if they believed the journalist had defamed the governor. The NUJ emphasized that while they do not oppose the investigation of individuals, they denounce the unprofessional and undemocratic methods often used by security agencies.

The NUJ questioned why Uba was not simply invited for questioning, suggesting that an arrest would only be necessary if he had evaded previous invitations. They called for his immediate release, citing that due process was not followed. The union urged that Uba be charged to court promptly if a criminal libel charge has been brought against him.

Furthermore, the NUJ appealed to the inspector-general of police to be aware of how state government officials might be using law enforcement to intimidate and harass perceived opponents, highlighting similar cases involving opposition politicians.

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