Federal Government, on Tuesday, denied its involvement in the recent arrest of the Publisher of the online newspaper, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, and a reporter working for the paper, Evelyn Okakwu, saying that it has nothing to do with the arrest.
This is even as it reassured that government would not do anything to stifle press freedom.
These were made known in a statement issued by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who said that “the whole issue of the journalists” arrest was purely a private affair involving a citizen and a privately-owned newspaper”.
Mohammed also wondered how that could be construed as an attempt by the government to intimidate the press.
He reassured that government would not do anything to stifle press freedom, because it is keenly aware that a free press is vital to the success of any democracy.
“We have said it before and we want to re-state it: ‘The Federal Government has no immediate or long-term plan to stifle press freedom’.
“Even the Social Media, with its warts and all, will neither be regulated nor have its operations tampered with,” he said.
Sundiata Post recalls that the online media Publisher of Premium Times, Olorunyomi, and her staff, Okakwu, were arrested last Thursday evening by the police.
But the duo, who have been released, were said to have been released on bail, and asked to report at the FCT Police Command Headquarters by 8 a.m. on Friday this week.