A Nigerian journalist has been detained in police cell after he reportedly wrote a critical Facebook post against a newly elected member of the House of Representatives.
*Photo used for illustrative purpose*
A Nigerian journalist, Danjuma Katsina was on Saturday night detained by police in Katsina for allegedly criticizing a newly-elected member of the House of Representatives from the state, Mansur Mashi.
According to information provided by a colleague of the journalist, Zaharadeen Umar, said Mr. Katsina was invited to the state’s Police Command around 8 p.m. on Saturday to explain himself over a complaint filed by the lawmaker. After writing a statement, he was detained by the police.
Mr. Katsina had posted a comment on Facebook in which he analysed the outcome of the Mashi/Dutsi bye-election conducted in May, wondering why Mr. Mashi was allowed to contest the polls despite facing court action on alleged corruption.
All effort by the Katsina state branch of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, and officials of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE, to secure his release came to nothing.
Danjuma was, however, released on Sunday afternoon following the directives of the state police commissioner, Mr. Usman Abdullahi, and intervention from various personalities in the state.
He said he went to the police headquarters on the invitation of the police on Saturday night, but was detained overnight. But the state police command Public Relations Officer, DSP Gambo Isah, denied that Danjuma was detained, stressing that he was merely invited for questioning.
Many people have been reacting on social media about the new way politicians and those in government have been using state institutions to harass and threaten journalists warning that this trend does not augur well with the tenets of democracy.
Just last month, a reporter in Kaduna state was brutalised and arrested at his point of duty, while another blogger was detained for 22 days for criticizing the Bauchi State governor in September.