The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Council, has called for immediate release of kidnapped Punch newspaper reporter, Okechukwu Nnodim.
The union made the call in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche, and Secretary, Ochiaka Ugwu, on Friday in Abuja.
Mr Nnodim was reportedly kidnapped from his Abuja residence by four gunmen who fired gunshots into the air and gained access to the residence by scaling the fence.
“We condemn the heinous act in totality and call for unconditional release of Nnodim for him to be reunited with his family and colleagues.
“A fundamental pre-requisite for free media is that journalists be allowed to move freely in their efforts to gather and transmit information.
“We urge the kidnappers to release the journalist immediately, we call on security agencies to ensure that he and all those held by kidnappers and bandits are rescued,” it said.
The NUJ also urged security agencies to ensure that kidnappers would be brought to justice.
According to the council, journalists should be allowed to carry out their constitutional duties unhindered.
“It is worrisome that, over the years, journalists have been assaulted while covering events, others have been threatened for doing their constitutional duties.
“As a council, we demand that immediate steps should be taken to arrest the ugly development so that journalists can fulfill their constitutional mandate unhindered,” the council said.