ATTACK ON THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS IN ENUGU AND THE ATTEMPTED CLAMDOWN ON JOURNALISTS BY THE POLICE AT THE INSTIGTION OF DR. MONDAY NWITE IGWE THE EMBATTLED MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL NEUROPSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL ENUGU

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The Inspector General of Police, Police Headquarters, Abuja. It is no longer news that School of Mental Health Nursing, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu was unlawfully closed down by its Medical Director, Dr. Monday Nwite Igwe, but the new development that cause for concern is the recent action of the said Dr. Monday Nwitte Igwe who is now using the instrumentality of the Police to launch a massive attack on the Freedom of the Press in the state. Some of the journalists who reported in the media the unlawful closure of the School of Mental Health Nursing, Enugu Dr. Monday Nwite Igwe, and the corruption at the institution have been penciled down to be sent to prison courtesy of a Police Invitation letter sent to the them in respect of criminal allegation made against them by Dr. Monday Nwite Igwe. The Police Invitation titled: Re: Criminal Conspiracy, Cyberstalking, Injurious Falsehood, Conduct Likely to Cause Breach of Public Peace and Criminal Defamation with Intent to Incite. The said Invitation signed by the A.A. Elleman DCP, Head IGP Monitoring Unit, The Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, invited these journalists:
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  1. Ignatius Okpara of The African Examiner
  2. Petrus Obi, former Nation Vice Chairman(Southeast) Nigeria Union of Journlists of the Everyday NewsNgr.
  3. Clinton C. Umeh, of Journalists 101 4, And Comrade Igboke Onyebuchi, of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisation who wrote petitions to appropriate government authorities to look into the plight of the over 700, students of the School of Mental Health Nursing, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu. It should be noted that the school is still closed down till date despite a reported directive by the permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health to reopen the institution.
DEMAND AND ACTION SOUGHT: We seek protection of the law for this journalists and submit that the Right to the freedom of the press is a constitutional guaranteed right under the Nigerian Constitution. If anybody or group of persons at any point in time feels that a journalist published a libelous publication against them, such person or group of persons could apply to Court for redress against such libelous publication. Our Society is a civilized one regulated by law, so there is no need for any group of persons to take law into their hands and resort to the Rule of the Jungle.
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This matter becomes so painful because the person involved is a civil servant in the employ of the Federal Civil Service of the Federation. So if a journalist writes on the anomalies which occurred in an institution why should that warrant calling for the head of such journalist. We condemn in all ramifications the attempt to infringe on the freedom of the press in Enugu in particular and the Southeast in general. We call on the Federal government and the Police to ensure that this act of lawlessness exhibited by Dr. Monday Nwite Igwe and his cohorts should stop henceforth because it is not good for our developing democracy. Journalists in the state and everywhere in Nigeria should be given due respect and free hand to operate and carry out their legitimate and lawful duties. The Police need to be impartial in doing their work and uphold the Rule of Law at all times. For: Civil Rights Realisation and Advancement Network (CRRAN);
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Olu Omotayo Esq. President CC.
  1. The President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Through the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Abuja.
Dear Sir, Above for your information and necessary action. Sincerely, Olu Omotayo Esq.
  1. The Chairman, Police Service Commission, Abuja. Dear Sir, Above for your information and necessary action. Sincerely,
Olu Omotayo Esq.
  1. The President Nigerian Union of Journalists, Abuja.
Dear Sir, Above for your information and necessary action. Sincerely, Olu Omotayo Esq.

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