Another Nigerian blogger Iroegbu Emenike, allegedly arrested by SSS in Akwa Ibom state

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Another Nigerian blogger Iroegbu Emenike, allegedly arrested by SSS in Akwa Ibom state

Read the statement below…
Our attention has been drawn to the arrest and
detention of a 38-year-old blogger and publisher of an
online news medium, Abia Facts, Mr. Iroegbu Emenike
by the State Security Service (SSS) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom
State at about 1:00 pm on Tuesday, September 6,
2016.
According to the wife of the blogger, Mrs. Ekaette Emenike
Iroegbu, the blogger was arrested by three (3) SSS operatives
who invaded their Uyo residence in a Gestapo style in a black
jeep. The operatives took away the two phones of Mrs.
Emenike; the bloggers own phones and laptop, etc. After
ransacking their apartment, they whisked the blogger away
without disclosing the reason for his arrest and their
destination.
Though the Director of SSS, Akwa Ibom State Command, Mr.
Adesina informed me at about 9:04 pm on Tuesday,
September 6, that he was not aware of the blogger’s arrest,
the wife of the blogger who went to the SSS office in Uyo has
confirmed that her husband is being held by the SSS in Uyo.
Without prejudice to whatever reason may have motivated the
arrest and detention of the blogger, it is very worrisome that
the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by
Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is being eroded at an alarming
and unprecedented level since the inception of the current
dispensation.
Few examples will suffice.
Emmanuel Ojo, a blogger, was arrested by the Ogun State
Police Command on Saturday, September 26, 2015 on the
orders of the Ogun State governor over his publication about
the governor’s wife on Facebook. Blogger Seun Oloketuyi was
equally arrested in 2015 over an online publication. Mr.
Abubakar Sidiq Usman, a popular blogger and political
commentator was arrested and detained recently by the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over
alleged cyberstalking. Mr. Musa Azare from Bauchi State was
also arrested recently by the Nigeria Police Force allegedly on
the orders of his state governor over his critical publications
on social media
The SSS and other security agencies should resist the
emerging capricious proclivities of political office holders to
use security agencies to clampdown on Nigerians for
exercising their constitutional liberties. Democracy is being
threatened in Nigeria by the rising display of intolerance to
free speech.
Will the SSS and other security agencies be willing to arrest,
detain and prosecute every Nigerian that is accused of
making offensive or derogatory publication and statement?
The security agencies should not be seen to be massaging
the egos of the influential members of the society.
Those who believe that their reputation have been lowered in
the eyes of right thinking members of the society should
explore the legal option by seeking redress in a court of law.
While we are not yet certain about the person(s) who
instigated Emenike’s arrest, it is on record that the Abia State
born blogger has been constantly harassed by the agents and
officials of the Abia State Government over his publications. It
is also on record that some government officials in Akwa
Ibom State have been uncomfortable with some of his
publications online.
We hereby call on the SSS to release Mr. Iroegbu Emenike
immediately. Injury to one, is injury to all.
Thank you.
Inibehe Effiong, ESQ.
Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD).

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