JODER condemns attacks on Bayelsa journalist
By Samuel Ogunsona
The Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, has condemned in its entirety the abuse, unlawful arrest, detention and maltreatment of Saint Mienpamo Onistha, a Journalist.
JODER said in a statement made available to Irohinoodua that the Bayelsa State based blogger is being persecuted for exposing inadequecies by the the Bayelsa State Governor Duoye Diri and his officials.
Onistha was handcuffed, brutalized and treated like a common criminal for discharging his duties as the watchdog of the society in disseminating information to the public.
Onistha is the Publisher of Naijalivetvv.com, an Online Media platform. He was arrested by the Department of State Security, (DSS) for his report on the Bayelsa State Tribunal Matter against the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor and the story on Kogi State Isolation Center.
According to Onistha, he was arrested, handcuffed, tortured and maltreated by the DSS, enquiring where he got the Subpoena documents he used in writing the story against the Bayelsa State Deputy Governor.
Recounting his ordeal, Onistha said, “I was tortured with mosquitoes feasting on me. I was interrogated daily, with the DSS querying how I got my information, forcing me to disclose my source.
“They alleged that I have offended the State government and I was going to suffer for it. I was dehumanized, maltreated, abused and starved of food. I was forced to make statement out of duress.
“I was forced to apologized to the State Government under the duress as I was beaten. I had no choice than to accept my fate and apologized to the Government, knowing that is the only way I can regain freedom.
“I had no choice, and I apologized to the Government under duress. I did not offend
anyone, am just doing my duty and a Journalist”, Onistha stressed.
JODER’s Assistant Project Coordinator, Akinwale Kasali, who signed the JODER statement condemned the abuse on Onistha, calling on the Nigeria Union of Journalists,(NUJ) Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA) Human Rights groups to intervene.
Kasali stressed that Onitsha travails is another way the Government is gagging the media.
He added that this was just the same way Abba Jalingo was incarcerated by Prof. Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State.
JODER called on relevant authorities to look into the issue to forestall a reoccurence.