June 15, 2024
Home » SERAP Gives Tinubu 48 Hours to Lift Ban on 25 Journalists and Media Houses

SERAP Gives Tinubu 48 Hours to Lift Ban on 25 Journalists and Media Houses

SERAP Gives Tinubu 48 Hours to Lift Ban on 25 Journalists and Media Houses
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to President Bola Tinubu to reverse the ban on 25 journalists and media houses from covering the activities at the presidential villa in Abuja.

According to SERAP, the federal government recently withdrew the accreditations of some 25 journalists from reporting activities at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The banned journalists include those from Vanguard, ONTV, MITV, ITV Abuja, PromptNews, Liberty, Ben TV, Galaxy TV, and others.

In a statement on Sunday, August 27, signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP said that the action was a violation of media freedom and human rights, and urged President Tinubu to publicly instruct the officials in the presidential villa to allow journalists and media houses to freely do their job and discharge their constitutional duty of holding those in power to account.

“Your administration cannot with one broad stroke ban journalists from covering public functions. Citizens’ access to information and participation would mean little if journalists and media houses are denied access to the seat of government,” SERAP said.

The group also warned that it would consider appropriate legal actions to compel the government to comply with its request in the public interest if the recommended measures are not taken within 48 hours of the receipt and/or publication of its letter.

“Media freedom is a cornerstone of Nigeria’s democracy and journalists must be able to hold the government to account. This is a matter of public interest. The government cannot cherry-pick journalists to cover its activities,” SERAP added.

The group stated that the expulsion of the journalists from the presidential villa could be seen as the government’s ambivalence towards media freedom, and citizens’ rights of access to information and participation in their own government.

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The group also reminded President Tinubu that Nigeria is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which guarantee freedom of expression and access to information.

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