Aftermath of jailed journalist: Kaduna NUJ to sanction erring members
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council, yesterday resolved unanimously to sanction erring members of the Union, who disobey its directives.
The council, in a communiqué at the end of its Extra-ordinary Congress held on the 4th of May, condemned the action of members, who disobeyed the Union’s directives to them to stay away from the coverage of all activities, including government functions, pending the release of their colleague, Mr. Jacob Onjewu Dickson, who has been sent to prison.
Signed by chairman of the Union, Comrd Garba Muhammad, congress frowned at the prejudice and vested interest exhibited within the top level government functionaries in the state leading to the detention and subsequent imprisonment of the journalist without following the process of the law.
“We, however, state categorically that, state government went too far by sending our colleague straight to prison without proper arraignment. His arrest, detention in police cell and imprisonment should have been the last resort after NUJ must have failed in addressing the matter.
“We celebrate our own World Press Freedom Day in grief, as a colleague was in prison custody on the order of the state government, while another colleague died,” it stated.
The Union also condemned the arrest of her member, especially coming on the heels of President Buhari’s directive to stop ill-treatment of journalists, even though the council “does not support lack of respect for ethics of journalism.”
While it resolved to look into the activities of some online media platforms with a view to reviewing and guarding them against unethical practices, the council commended efforts of some colleagues towards the union’s moves to secure release of the imprisoned member.
Mr Dickson was thrown into prison custody on 29 April, 2016, for charges bothering on alleged ‘false personating’ and ‘inciting disaffection’ to the government of Kaduna state, according to the First Information Report (FIR) of Judicial Form Court 1, Taiwo Road, Kaduna.