We’ve no hand in the arrest of publisher, reporter’s – FG

The Federal Government has pledged not do anything to stifle press

freedom in the country.

It says it is keenly aware that a free press is vital to the success

of democracy anywhere in the world .

The Minister of Information and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed , stated

this in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday .

Mohammed was referring to the arrest of the Publisher of an online

medium, Mr . Dapo Olorunyomi, and a reporter working for the paper ,

Ms . Evelyn Okakwu, by the police in Abuja last week .

He said the issue that led to the arrest of the two journalists was a

personal one and that it had nothing to do with the government.

The minister stated that the Federal Government would not tamper with

the freedom of social media despite their shortcomings.

He added, "The Federal Government has nothing to do with the recent

arrest of Mr . Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher of the online newspaper,

Premium Times, and a reporter working for the paper, Ms . Evelyn Okakwu. ".

He said the journalists ' arrest was a private affair , involving a

citizen and a privately- owned newspaper, wondering how that could be

construed as an attempt by the government to intimidate the press .

The minister stated , "We have said it before and we want to restate

it, the Federal Government has no immediate or long – term plan to

stifle press freedom .

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