One Mr. Friday Ogungbemi, a journalist with the Policy and Lawmakers Magazine who was arrested and detained by the State Security Services SSS, for allegedly writing a story which the SSS considered offensive, is reported to have been granted bail by a magistrate court in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.
The journalist was arraigned on Wednesday by the SSS, after having spent a week in their custody.
The charges brought against him borders on defamation of character.
According to Premium Times, a source who is a top official of the state government, spoke to them on the condition of anonimity and said Mr. Ogungbemi was actually arrested because he was ” trying to cause war” in the state.
He further said Mr. Ogungbemi “wrote an article calling on the two major tribes in the state; Igala and Igbira to start attacking each other”.
The official said Kogi government is “very friendly with the press, but cannot allow irresponsible journalism that is capable of breaching the peace”.
Mr. Ogungbemi allegedly committed the offense in the November 23 – December 15, 2016 edition of the Policy and Lawmakers magazine.
It was also earlier reported that the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ brought a suit on behalf of the journalist for the enforcement of his fundamental rights, and also sought for compensation in the sum of N5m for the breach of same.
The Kogi State chairman of the NUJ, Ali Atabor, confirmed the release of Mr. Ogungbemi to journalist and said “ he is presently with his loved ones”.
He however, said it was not possible to speak with Mr. Ogungbemi because ” the SSS is yet to return his cell phone which they seized after his arrest”.
Written by Okolo Ezinne