Group Warns Police Against Bias, Giving In To Antics Of Politicians | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Group Warns Police Against Bias, Giving In To Antics Of Politicians

Posted: Apr 1, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Chukwudi Nweje, Lagos

A day after the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) held a Career Talk, as part of activities to mark the 2016 Police Week with the theme, ‘Police is your Friend’, the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has asked the police high command to live up to its claim of friendship.
NOPRIN has charged Mr. Solomon Arese, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call his men to order over the role they are perceived to be playing in the alleged harassment and intimidation of one Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna, a freelance journalist and Mr. Onoriobe Raymond Gold, a community advocate, supposedly by Captain Emmanuel Ihenacho, a former Minister of Interior, over a report that dredging activities by Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, a company owned Iheanacho, caused environmental damage in the community.
NOPRIN alleged that the two have become targets and are constantly harassed and intimidated since Armstrong-Ogbonna published and aired a story on two radio stations, detailing how Integrated Oil and Gas Limited allegedly caused environmental damage in the community by not ensuring safety standards in their operations.
The group said Gold is being targeted because he raised the alarm about the effects of the activities of Oil Company and insisting that they follow due process in their dredging activities.
“NOPRIN has followed with serious concern the continuing threat, harassment and intimidation of Freelance Journalist, Augustina Armstrong-Ogbonna by, politician and businessman. Captain Ihenacho is threatening Armstrong, and has instigated a security manhunt on her for courageously investigating and reporting on the illegal dredging activities by his company- Integrated Oil and Gas Ltd on his property bordering Irede community, in Lagos State.
The obviously biased and unprofessional role played by the police is condemnable. NOPRIN hereby calls on the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to call the Area Commander of Area ‘L’ Command of the Lagos State Police Command to order for his despicable role in offering himself as a willing tool in the hands of a powerful citizen to victimise a poor community leader for his courageous role in defending the interest of his community members. The police and other security agencies should henceforth desist from their manhunt on Armstrong who has not committed any offence but has only discharged her social role as a journalist,” Okechukwu Nwanguma NOPRIN National Coordinator said.
He further alleged that as a consequence of the pressure from Iheanacho, Gold is presently facing what he termed “frivolous charges before a magistrate’s court in Lagos”, which he said “is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate him”, while “the management of Radio Nigeria has discontinued Armstrong from presenting her reports on its stations”.