The police in Katsina State acting on the orders of the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ahmad El-Marzuq, have detained a journalist, El Zaharadeen Umar over a publication.
SaharaReporters gathered that Umar was arrested by the police during the weekend and has been detained for more than three days.
The correspondent of Leadership Newspaper Hausa was accused of “hate speech, incisive publication and cyberbullying.”
Some aggrieved activists in the state are organising a protest to demand the freedom of Umar.
They also lambasted the Nigerian Union of Journalists for keeping mute while its member is being persecuted by the commissioner despite the guarantee for the freedom of speech in Nigeria's constitution.
“A journalist is a watchdog of society. He is not a criminal while doing his profession, it is not a crime especially in a democratic system of governance. No one should intimidate a journalist by applying excessive power or any other means,” an activist, Comrade Yahaya M. Abdullahi wrote.
“Journalism can never be silent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph, and the signs of horror are still in the air, according to Henry Anatole Grunwald.
“Walter Lippmann said, there can be no higher law in journalism than, to tell the truth, and to shame the devil.
“Tan Hongkai also opined that; I think journalism anywhere should be based on social justice and impartiality, making contributions to society as well as taking responsibility in society. Whether you are capitalist or socialist or Marxist, journalists should have the same professional integrity.
“No Matter your status you can't silence a journalist. #freeelzaharadeenumar.”
Katsina State has a history of Illegally arresting and intimidating journalists.
For instance, the police on September 19, 2016, Illegally arrested Jamil Mabai — the publisher of Cliqq Magazine and a columnist with Katsina Reporters.
Mabai had on September 6 taken to social media to criticise the state governor, Aminu Masari, for Distributing 3,000 coffins to mosques civil servants were being owed salaries.
Mabai was granted bail after 22 days of illegal detention.
Also in July 2017, another journalist in the state, Danjuma Katsina, was Illegally arrested and detained for allegedly making “injurious comments” about a newly elected member of the House of Representatives from the state, Mansur Mashi.
Katsina had posted a comment on Facebook in which he analysed the outcome of the Mashi/Dutsi bye-election earlier conducted, questioning why Mashi was allowed to contest in the election despite having a court case regarding alleged corruption.