Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria has expressed concern over the imprisonment of Nigerian journalist, Obinna Don Norman.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, has called on the Nigerian authorities to immediately release Norman and drop all charges against him. PPF also urged to review the Nigeria’s 2015 cybercrime act and stop targeting journalists under this act.
According to Committee to Protect Journalists, Norman, editor-in-chief and owner of online media outlet The Realm News was arrested by police of Umuahia, the capital of Nigeria’s southeastern Abia state.
On March 1, 2019 the journalist was at Flo FM, a local radio station to discuss the politics and he was charged under the Nigeria’s 2015 cybercrime act.
During the second court hearing he was charged under an Abia state anti-terrorism and kidnapping law from 2009. He was accused of defaming Abia state senator Theodore Orji of the People’s Democratic Party.
The Realm News is of the view that the charges on Norman is attempt to silence media from covering the gubernatorial election scheduled for March 9, in which Okezie Ikpeazu, a People’s Democratic Party member, is contesting for re-election.
Ene Okun, Abia police commissioner stated that Norman was arrested because he was listed as wanted in an official bulletin and was involved in the case.