Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Online Publishers Association Of Nigeria (OPAN) Launches “Free Press Defence Fund” For Incarcerated Online Journalists


Nigeria’s leading association of digital/new media publishers known as Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) has launched a “Free Press Defence Fund” to help incarcerated online journalists.

In a press statement issued by OPAN, it was disclosed that the association has already launched multiple suits against the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris in Nnewi, Abuja and Lagos in the Police vs Elombah Brothers matter.

Recently, Daniel Elombah, publisher of an online news platform and General Secretary of the Online Publishers Association, OPAN was arrested on New Year’s Day alongside his brother, Timothy Elombah by officers attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigerian police based on “orders from above” from their family house in Edoji-Uruagu Nnewi, Anambra State.

The officers who arrested them refused to give reasons for their arrest. Daniel who was later released subsequently filed a N2 billion lawsuit against the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, and IGP Idris at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

However, editor of elombah.com, Timothy Elombah is still in detention with no reason for arrest. It was later discovered that the online journalists were arrested over an article titled “IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage of Controversies”, written by Ebiowei Dickson on social media network, Instagram and believed to have been published on elombah.com.

The association is displeased with this development and has condemned the arrest of online journalists. Timothy has been remanded in police custody for seven (7) days pending the completion of the police investigation and filing a former charge.

Meanwhile, Oral Application for bail of Timothy Elombah has been moved and court adjourned to Tuesday, January 9, 2018, for the ruling.

To this end, OPAN launched the ‘Free Press Defence Fund’ to help not only Timothy but any other incarcerated online journalist.

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