Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore has lambasted the Department of State Services (DSS) for accrediting only 10 media houses for the July 26 coverage of the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), in an Abuja court.
Kanu is facing charges of terrorism and treasonable felony, among others, brought against him by the Nigerian Government.
Sowore described the action of the DSS, which is Nigeria’s secret police, as a shame and a crime against freedom of the press in a democratic country.
He further called on the media houses that were accredited to withdraw from the sabotage to free press in Nigeria.
He wrote, “#FreeNnamdiKanuNow, lawless DSS has ‘accredited’ only 10 media houses to cover Nnamdi Kanu’s trial, it will be a shame and a crime against #freepress for any independent news source to apply to DSS for accreditation. This is highly condemnable and embarrassing! #BuhariMustGo #RevolutionNow.
#FreeDunamis5 #FreeNnamdiKanuNow Lawless DSS had âaccreditedâ only 10 media houses to cover @MaziNnamdiKanu trial, it will be a shame and a crime against #freepress for any independent news source to apply to DSS for accreditation. This is highly condemnable and embarrassing! pic.twitter.com/XFnt7VnGXF
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) July 25, 2021
“These media houses must withdraw from this sabotage of free press. The DSS has no right to engage in the accreditation of media houses to cover a public trial in a Federal High Court in Nigeria.
“The judiciary should be ashamed that its independence has been compromised completely by the executive.”
SaharaReporters gathered that the secret police accredited ten media firms for the coverage of the trial of Kanu.
Media houses accredited include Daily Post, Premium Times, Thisday, The Nation, The Herald, and Daily Independent newspapers.
Broadcast stations accredited are National Television Authority, Channels Television, Africa Independent Television, and Television Continental.
DSS noted that the restriction of media houses into the courtroom was part of the security measures put in place by the management of the Federal High Court in Abuja and DSS to control crowds on the court premises.