The Nigerian Union of Journalists, FCT Council, has given the Nigerian Police, the Department of State Security (DSS) and other security agencies 24-hours to produce an Abuja-based journalist, Mr. Tordue Henry Salem who went missing a week ago.
The Chairman of the Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche gave the mandate during a World News Conference organised by the Council in collaboration with some Human Rights Organizations, including Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Men Against Rape Foundation and others.
Comrade Ogbeche said that the Council promptly informed the Police and other security agencies immediately the case of Salem was made known to the Council and that he had continued to follow up on the matter.
He lamented that the Police and other security agencies had not done anything to unravel the whereabouts of the missing Vanguard newspaper reporter who covers the National Assembly.
He stated that in this digital age, it takes little or no serious effort to locate a missing person who had a mobile telephone and other facilities easy to track.
“We challenge the security agencies to prove us otherwise. If it were not so, as at this moment, they would have been able to tell us
Comrade Ogbeche said what efforts they have undertaken in locating the whereabouts of Mr. Salem. We want to say that there will be consequences for Mr Salem’s disappearance,“.
He also said the onus is on the security agencies to produce Mr. Salem or prove to the Council and the Nigerian public that the journalist was not in their captivity.
The chairman also said that the issue of kidnapping had been ruled out as no one made any contacts whatsoever.
The Chairman of Human Rights Organizations, including Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), Comrade Emmanuel Onwumbiko, said that the Civil Society Organisations had been raising alarms over the frequent disappearance of citizens.
He cited similar cases where citizens had been reported missing, only to be produced by the Police after some months and in some cases, years, like in the case of Jones Abiri, a journalist who was detained by the Police for two years without the knowledge of his family and the public.
He called on the government to check underground cells in the country.
Reporting by Sandra Udeike, Editing by Tola Oguneye