Posted by News Express | 17 October 2017 | 1,818 times
A Lagos High Court has been asked to nullify and invalidate a wireless message (signal) issued by the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, by which he allegedly instructed all police formations in Nigeria to ostracise Dr. Aisha Tosan, presenter of the crime busting television programme, “Crime Fighters, Police and You”, and her company.
In the suit filed on Monday, Tosan, presenter is asking the court to issue a declaration that she is entitled to the exercise of her fundamental rights to freedom of expression, of free speech and the press, that she should not be intimidated or silenced by the IGP through the instrumentalities of the Police, and that she should not be persecuted for freely expressing her unbiased and objective opinion as a citizen of Nigeria, on a burning national issue.
She is also asking the court to resrain the IGP and the Police from taking any step that may jeopardise her liberty, movement or freedom or the free exercise of her freedom of expression and the dissemination of information, in relation to her trade and practice of journalism, through broadcasting and media campaigns generally.
In the suit filed on her behalf by Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Tosan is contending that the interview that she recently granted to a national newspaper on the controversy that has dogged the Police Force generally does not amount to a crime in law, for which the IGP and the Police could set the law in motion against her, or for wihch she could be denied access to Police facilities, since it is a public institution established by law for the protection of the lives and properties of all citizens. She wants the court to determine whether the IGP is empowered in law to ostracise a citizen from relating with or associating with the Police purely for expressing her opinion.
In a 25-paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of her application, Tosan stated that she was a top crime correspondent with Vanguard newspapers before she retired to pursue a career in safety measures, effective policing and detection and prevention of crimes. She stated that through her numerous television programmes and media campaigns, she has helped to project the image of the police positively before the public and it would be unfair and unlawful for the IGP to now seek to gag her through intimidation with his signal to all Police formations not to relate or associate with her.
Tosan accused the IGP of not affording her any opportunity of any or fair hearing in the determination of her civil rights and obligations before a decision was taken to ostracise her and, as such, the said decision amounted to a breach of her fundamental right to fair hearing, guaranteed by the Constituion and the African Charter. She stated further that the Police hierarchy, through the Police Service Commission, had since confirmed all that she stated in her interview as true and correct and it would thus be better for the Police to address the issues raised in her interview, instead of seeking to intimidate and persecute her as an innocent citizen.
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