Samuel Ogundipe, the Premium Times journalist who was arrested on Tuesday for a controversial story he reportedly published, says he was accused of stealing secret documents.
Inspector-general of police, Ibrahim Idris ordered his arrest over a story on Lawal Daura, sacked director-general of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The police had reportedly asked him to divulge the source of a letter IGP wrote to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Daura, Ogundipe however declined based on the ethics of the profession.
Premium Times reports that Ogundipe was secretly arraigned before a magistrate court in Kubwa, Abuja, yesterday and wasn’t granted access to his lawyer.
He was reportedly charged with criminal trespass and theft of police document.
The newspaper alleged that although Ogundipe was allowed access to his Lawyer at the special anti-robbery squad (SARS) facility in Abuja yesterday morning, but the lawyer was asked to leave only for him (Ogundipe) to be later taken to court “without prior notice”.
It was at the court that the journalist got a phone to speak with the newspaper on the developments.
He was quoted as saying: “They brought me to a magistrate court in Kubwa where they arraigned me. The magistrate said they should detain me for five days.
“They accused me of criminal trespass. They said I stole secret documents. The magistrate does not know the details, because they did not include in the charge that I am a journalist. I was not allowed to contact my lawyers.
“They also did not allow me to call anyone until the magistrate ordered them to let me make one call. I am currently using the registrar’s phone to make this call and they are collecting it.”
The magistrate was said to have given an order that he be detained for five more days.
The police have been under pressure to release the journalist. #FreeSamuelOgundipe is currently trending on social media.