The Nation’s Editor to be arraigned Thursday for Forgery, Sedition
THE police, on Wednesday, released two editors of The Nation newspapers, including its Abuja Bureau Chief, Mr Yomi Odunuga and the News Editor, Mr Lawal Ogienagbon, on bail, just as it concludes plan to arraign before a magistrate's court, the newspaper's Managing Editor, Northern Operations, Alhaji Yusuf Ali.
Bail for the duo of Odunuga and Ogienagbo came following the intervention of the Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, who wrote an indemnity on behalf of two officials of the Abuja council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), who stood as surety for the duo.
Chairman of NUJ, Abuja chapel, Mr Jacod Edi and the secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, had stood as sureties for Ogienagbon and Odunuga, following the declaration by the investigating police officers that they had orders to release them on bail.
It was gathered that Ali might be charged for alleged sedition, forgery and defamation today.
The police officers also confirmed that Ali would remain in their custody till today, when he would be charged before a magistrate's court.
But an Abuja lawyer, who has taken interest in the case, Mr Ugochukwu Osuagwu, immediately raised the alarm, indicating that the police was weaving a plot to keep Ali in custody longer than necessary.
He said the charge being prepared by the police could only be taken to a High Court, adding that the ploy to take him to a magistrate's court was aimed at prolonging his stay in police custody.
Meanwhile, the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) has expressed concern over the invasion of the Lagos and Abuja offices of the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation newspapers by the police.
It said the arrest of four editors of the newspaper was not helpful to the atmosphere of free-flow of information being engendered by the signing into law of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act by President Goodluck Jonathan.
NPAN added that the action of the police undermined the constitutional rights of Nigerians to a free press.