Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna
A Kaduna-based journalist, Joseph Midat, arrested by the Kaduna Police Command on Wednesday has yet to be released more than 24 hours after.
The correspondent of Leadership newspaper was said to have been arrested by the police near the secretariat of the Kaduna Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists along Muhammadu Buhari Way, on Wednesday.
It was gathered that Midat was first taken to the Metro Police Station, where he was asked to write a statement, which he did on Wednesday.
By Thursday, he was transferred to the command’s headquarters along the Bida Road in the heart of the city.
There was, however, another version to the arrest of the journalist as it was gathered that Midat was held in connection with an inciting publication which he authored, but a police source told our correspondent that the arrest had nothing to do with professional misconduct.
When contacted on telephone, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Aliyu Usman, told our correspondent he would call back.
Usman had yet to call as of the time of filing this report by 4:23pm.
But a Kaduna based lawyer, Mr. Napoleon Idenala, has faulted the continued detention of the journalist in police custody for more than 48 hours without being charged to court.
He noted that the action of the police was against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He noted that though the cause of the arrest of the journalist was yet unknown, the police had no power to detain him beyond 48 hours without a court order.
He said, “It is incumbent on the police to state the reason for the arrest and even at that, they possess no such right to keep him beyond 48 hours without charging him to court unless such an arrest falls on a public holiday or on weekend such that he could not be charged to court.”
“They can grant him bail if the offence is bailable and tell him to go and come back or unless there is a court order.
“But just as I said, we still don’t know what they have arrested him for. You need to know what somebody has done that would warrant his arrest and subsequent detention.
“If the offence is such that is weighty and the police want to keep him beyond 48 hours, they ought to seek for a court order.”