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Group urges FG, security agencies to investigate attempted abduction of Abuja journalist

MEDIA Rights Agenda on Monday urged the Federal Government and the security agencies to investigate the attempted abduction of the Abuja Correspondent of The Guardian, Mr. Oludare Richards.

MRA in its statement said the Government should ensure that nothing untoward happens to the journalist.

Gunmen attempted to kidnap Oludare Richards, on his way home but he overran them and went into hiding for several weeks now.

It was gathered that the journalist, while he was returning to his house in Abuja, a black Hyundai bus drove towards him obviously trying to cut him off and that the two men jumped down from the vehicle and chased after him as he took his heels.

The journalist was able to escape with the help of a body spray with which he was able to prevent them from catching him.

Richards was reported to have gone into hiding following an encounter with unknown men whom he suspected to be security agents that had attempted to abduct him.

It was suspected that attempted abductors might be security agents adding that he did not report the incident at the police station and has also gone into hiding rather than return home.

Mr. Ayode Longe, MRA’s Programme Director, in a statement issued in Lagos, urged the Federal Government as well as the relevant law enforcement and security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and to ensure that no harm befalls Mr. Richards.

According to Longe, the frequent practice by law enforcement, security, and intelligence agents of abducting journalists, human rights activists, and other citizens on the streets or in their homes without following proper and lawful arrest procedures is an abuse of human rights.

He stated that this has made it difficult for citizens to distinguish between criminals, including kidnappers, bandits, and terrorists, and law enforcement officials seeking to arrest them.

Longe called on the Federal Government to put an end to such a practice by providing law enforcement officials with appropriate training on lawful arrest procedures and taking drastic action against those involved.

“The lawless and sometimes criminal behavior of many law enforcement agents makes it difficult for law-abiding citizens, including journalists, to know whether falling into their hands is any less dangerous than falling into the hands of plain criminals.

“This has made the terrain for journalism practice doubly treacherous for journalists in an environment of widespread insecurity where they are frequently under attack from criminals, supposed members of law enforcement agencies, and other government officials, with all of them behaving the same way and employing the same tactics,” he said.

 

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