The Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria (NPAN) says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)’s invasion of The Sun newspapers is an attempt to intimidate journalists.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Nduka Obaigbena, chairman of NPAN, said the invasion of media houses did not work in the past and would not work now.
While stressing that invasion of media houses is unknown to the constitution, the NPAN chairman urged the federal government should call the EFCC to order.
“Given these developments, it is our considered view that the EFCC, being a State institution and a creation of the law, cannot be above the law and the manner of the invasion tends to suggest that the EFCC was out on a self-help mission, a voyage to intimidate journalists, criminalise journalism and cower free speech,” the statement read.
“We should continue to remind ourselves that this crude tactics of invasion of media houses and harassment of journalists did not work in the past, is not going to work now, and will never work. It is unknown to The constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“We call on the federal government of Nigeria and all people of reason and goodwill to call the EFCC to order for the greater good of the federal republic Nigeria and the rule of law.”
He said the EFCC abridged the rights of the newspaper’s workers rights “by preventing those who were in the premises from leaving, and others reporting for duty from entering the premises.”
“Facts before the NPAN indicate that the EFCC operatives swooped on the newspaper in the early morning of June 12, while Nigerians were commemorating the historic day of Free Expression, and ordered security men to take them on a guided tour of the premises of the newspaper,” it read.
“The EFCC operatives subsequently prevented journalists and staff from performing their constitutional duties, and abridging their rights by preventing those who were in the premises from leaving, and others reporting for duty from entering the premises.”