Oloye Ayodele Samuel, Publisher of Truth and Facts Newspaper and CEO of Rock FM 92.3 Jalingo, in Taraba State

Press Freedom: ALBNI urges Taraba Government’s unconditional release of Ayodele Samuel, Rock FM CEO

*The Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative strongly condemns continued detention of Ayodele Samuel, Publisher of Truth and Facts Newspaper and CEO of Rock FM 92.3 Jalingo, urging the Taraba State Government for his immediate and unconditional release

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative (ALBNI) has strongly condemned the continued incarceration of Oloye Ayodele Samuel, Publisher of Truth and Facts Newspaper and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rock FM 92.3 Jalingo, in Taraba State, under what the group has described as unclear circumstances to it and others in the media and human rights community in Nigeria.

Simbo Olorunfemi, Director of Civil & Human Rights, and Mr. Remi Adebayo, Executive Director, in a statement issued Sunday, December 11, 2022, said whereas there had been reports alleging displeasure on the part of Governor (Arc.) Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, about certain news reports concerning activities of the State Government in the media.

Governor (Arc.) Darius Ishaku of Taraba State

Olorunfemi, however, stated that it is unbelievable such a situation could have led to the arrest and detention of Oloye Samuel.

The Director of Civil & Human Rights said: “We are gravely concerned about the statement alleged to have been made on the floor of the State House of Assembly by the Governor of Taraba State, seeking to establish a legislation intentionally directed at a Nigerian citizen.

“We remind the Governor that Nigeria is a country governed by law, with the Constitution providing cover for freedom of expression and the press.”

The group also noted “it is unfortunate that such a statement, as attributed to him could actually come from a Governor under a democratic dispensation, no matter what might have provoked him.”

Olorunfemi  as well appealed to the Governor to explore civil and regulatory channels provided for addressing any purported infractions.

The statement further said the Accountable Leadership for Better Nigeria Initiative finds it hard to believe that the Judiciary in Taraba State could be in possession of the facts of the matter in respect of Ayodele Samuel.

ALBNI described Oloye Samuel as a journalist whose long-standing mission has been that of  using the media platform to promote Taraba State and its development, and yet the state governed sanction his imprisonment.

“It is important to remind the Arc. Darius Ishaku-led government in Taraba State, that the media can only continue to offer partnership with the Government in an atmosphere where justice, fairness and accommodation dissenting views of practitioners are guaranteed regardless of place of birth or origin,” it stated.

According to the group, the likes of Samuel, who after his mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme, have chosen Taraba State, in the North-East, as a home will further be encouraged, in an atmosphere where his rights and privileges are not infringed upon, or being made to feel unwanted among the people he has chosen to be his own in the state.

ALBNI further noted: “We, therefore, join our voices with that of media practitioners across the country, human rights community, as well as the family of Mr. Ayodele Samuel, in calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the journalist from detention.”

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