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Human rights group slams SSS over harassment of PREMIUM TIMES journalists

A CIVIL society organisation, Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has slammed the State Security Service over harassment of PREMIUM TIMES editor-in-Chief, Muskilu Mojeed and reporter, Samuel Ogundipe.

A publication about the feud between the National Security Adviser, Babagana Munguno and Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the Nigerian President, Muhammdu Buhari had prompted the alleged harassment, according to a statement by the group.

The Executive Director of the organisation, Ibrahim Zikirullahi, noted that the action is a misuse of security institutions.

“CHRICED flays the misuse of security institutions funded by taxpayers to intimidate citizens, especially journalists who are doing their legitimate duty by reporting the true state of governance to all citizens, ” he noted.

According to the group, the publication has exposed to the public how the fight against insurgency is being internally weakened by forces in the presidency.

Zikirullahi said the publication has shown that Buhari has been persistently passing on his responsibility to Kyari even in the face of terrorism.

“From the content of the leaked memo, it was also very clear that even in the face of the mindless slaughter of defenseless Nigerians by terrorists, bandits and other violent criminals, President Buhari continues to project weakness by abdicating his responsibility to his Chief of Staff who has been exercising power of the President by proxy rule,” he stated.

The statement further read that the SSS is again hunting journalists to force them to divulge the source of their information.

“With these facts so well established, it is condemnable that the DSS is again resorting to the discredited tactic of hounding journalists to force them to divulge the source of the leaked memo,” the statement read.

CHRICED urged the SSS to desist from such actions against the news agency and its staff because international organisations and foreign investors in Nigeria are watching.

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“We, therefore, call on the DSS to immediately end the ongoing harassment and hounding of PREMIUM TIMES editors and reporters. CHRICED also admonishes the service to know that across the world, policymakers and investors are closely watching to see if the Nigerian State is serious about its commitment to the rule of law,” CHRICED noted.

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