Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Bola Tinubu to immediately reverse the “unlawful ban” on 25 journalists and media houses from covering the State House.
The affected reporters include those from the Vanguard; Galaxy TV; Ben TV; MITV; ITV Abuja; PromptNews; ONTV and Liberty.
In a letter dated August 26 and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group said that the decision was at variance with their constitutional duty of holding those in power to account.
SERAP held: “Your administration cannot with one broad stroke ban journalists from covering public functions. Citizens’ access to information and participation would mean little if journalists and media houses are denied access to the seat of government.”
According to the body, media freedom is a cornerstone of the nation’s democracy, and journalists must be able to hold government to account, adding: “This is a matter of public interest. The government cannot cherry-pick journalists to cover its activities.”
SERAP argued that withdrawal of the accreditation tags of the affected reporters “directly violates media freedom and human rights, including access to information and the right to participation.”
The body cited Sections 22 and 14 (2) (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to drive home its point.
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